Here is our music video:

Below are the outside panels to our digipak.

Below are the outside panels to our digipak.

Below are the inside panels to our digipak.

Below are the inside panels to our digipak.

Click on the image below to access our website.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Evaluation Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our three media products of a music video, album cover and website, follow many conventions of music videos in our primary genre of UK Garage/R&B, but also challenge the sexualisation that is prevalent in videos of this genre.

Music Video

Our song is in the genre of both R&B and UK Garage. UK Garage is a genre which has a large underground following, but where every year several songs tend to break into the mainstream, while R&B is currently the biggest and best-selling genre in the UK and US (Combined with Hip-hop.) as shown by This article.

R&B is a much bigger and more varied genre, but focusing on the more beat-driven R&B, some similar conventions arise. There is seemingly less focus on elaborate dance routines, but there is also a lot of sexualisation, with prominent sexual imagery. We subverted this sexualisation by not having any of our cast sexualised whatsoever.

Our music video follows some of the major conventions of music videos, especially in relation to costume and location, with parts of our music video taking place in the graffiti covered streets of Brick Lane and Brick Lane's car park.

Our choice of locations was heavily inspired by the music video for 'I Loved You' by Blonde, which is an R&B song where two women (Neither of which is an artist who made the song.) travel around urban parts of London. This not only makes the genre clear, due to London's connection with UK Garage, but also connotes the fun and exciting nature of both songs due to the bright colours.

A comparison between the location used in Blonde's music video and my video.

Similarly our choice of costume was based off what we had previously seen in UK Garage music videos and mainly consists of puffer jackets and street-smart clothing, seen in videos such as 'Fill Me In' by Craig David, and we were also heavily inspired by the music video to 'Shutdown' by Skepta, which is similarly set in urban London location.


We followed Simon Frith's theories about the different types of music video and  have aspects from all 3 of his designated types of music video, deatiled further in the prezi below.


We also took some imagery from music videos in R&B, which we thought connotated the genre well, specifically the wall projections in 'We Found love' by Rihanna and the cycling coloured lights in the intro to the video for 'Tyrant' by Kali Uchis.


Our video also follows some less genre-specific conventions of music videos, Carol Vernallis' key concepts around editing and Camera Movement. This is shown by our use of jump cuts at multiple points throughout the video and breaking various rules of invisible continuity editing, such as the 180 degree rule and 30 degree rule. This make the video engaging for the viewer and exciting, as well as allowing us to include more close-ups, lip-sync shots and cutaways to interesting visuals.


Our digipak follows many of the conventions of R&B/UK Garage album covers, as explored in the Padlet below:


The main website we used as inspiration in our video is R&B/pop star Ariana Grande's website We very much used this as a rough template for our own website, which can be accessed at

Evaluation Q2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

We had to create our music video, digipak and website as one cohesive promotion for the artist, in order to make it easier for audiences to understand what our artists stand for. We did this by looking at how other artists had promoted albums, such as UK Garage/R&B duo AlunaGeorge with their 2016 album 'I Remember'. This promotional campaign is detailed below:

For our campaign we tried to create an even closer synergy between our three products, which we attempted to do by making sure that some elements were present in all of them.

The Graffiti visible in this shot was a major piece of scenery that we wanted to use, as it perfectly encapsulates everything we want CRUZE to stand for, being colourful and urban. We then included an image of CRUZE standing in front of a graffiti-covered wall from the same street as the image on the inside of the digipak.

The image on the inside of the digipak.
Similarly, on our website the background to the music page is from the same photo shoot, and as such it links to the video and the digipak.

The 'Music' tab on the CRUZE website.
We tried to create a cohesive and successful marketing campaign, using AlunaGeorge and other artists as inspiration. To do this we used the website as a hub for promotion where we included references to not only our video and album, but also to publicity events like a meet and greet and to the CRUZE UK tour which has its own tab.

The tour poster as seen on the tour tab of the CRUZE website.

Along with the meet and greet and the tour, the main event promoted on the CRUZE website is a live performance and interview on BBC 1xtra, a popular radio station in the UK that usually plays more dance and Garage leaning songs than BBC radio 1. This is an example of below the line promotion, as CRUZE benefit from being promoted on a radio station with a large and perceptive audience, while 1xtra benefit from having new content to premiere, which has potential to bring in a new audience and give attention to the station.

The news about the live performance on the 'News' tab of our website.
We also promoted the website using the digipak, which has a link to the CRUZE and nimbus records websites on the back cover.

Richard Dyer's Star Theory

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Evaluation Q3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Audience feedback was vital for the development of our project, but we first had to identify our target audience.

Target Audiences

How we appealed to our audiences

To appeal to R&B fans within 16-24 we used the Uses and Gratifications theory. We looked at what this age group wants from it's media and tried to create our product to service these needs. One of these ways was through social interaction, which for the current generation growing up is more important than ever due to social media. In our video we attempted to emphasise the group shots and the close ups of the singer looking into the camera, increasing the intimacy of the video and giving the viewer the feeling of social interaction and belonging as part of the posse presented in the video, similarly to how Rihanna's music video for 'We Found Love' does this.

Four examples of shots where a group of people are all dancing together to the music. The two pictures on the left also present the viewer as inside the scene, taking part in the video.

We also tried to appeal to all of our audiences needs for diversion and escapism, which is visible throughout the use of fast, bright fireworks in Rihanna's video for 'We Found Love'.

we attempted to provide through the use of bright colours in our studio shots and through fast, non-continuous editing, an example of which is below:

These bright colours and fast jump cuts catch the viewers attention and keeps them engaged, allowing them to forget about reality and lose themselves in the world of the music video for three minutes.
We also used the example set by 'We Found Love' and tried to engage the viewer through the narrative in the song, which gives them something to focus on as the video progresses.

To appeal to the UK Garage fans we made sure that we maintained a garage 'aesthetic', through our use of urban locations and by focusing on the DJ in several shots in the video, which is a trademark of many garage videos, and once again is visible in the video for 'We Found Love', hich features DJ Calvin Harris to try and appeal to dance music fans.

Some shots from the video that show me DJing.
A shot from 'We Found Love' that focuses on Calvin Harris DJing.

In regard to our website and digipak, these were also created to appeal towards primarily an R&B audience. To do this we put the singer of CRUZE on the front cover rather than the DJ, which puts the R&B vocal at the forefront rather than the garage beats. The pale blue and pink colours of the clouds on the background are also much more reminiscent of R&B rather than garage. The inside and back covers focus more on the garage audience, by showing the DJ and the urban location, which fans of garage will associate with the urban landscape of London. 

This is similar with the website which focuses mainly on presenting CRUZE as an R&B/pop act with photos that have clearly been photoshopped onto bright coloured backgrounds. However, the music page very much appeals to the garage audience with it's background being a photograph of CRUZE standing in front of a graffitied wall, signifying the grittier garage influence and the London location.

The music tab of our website 
The image we used for the homepage and news tabs of our website.

How we collected audience feedback

We had three ways of collecting responses to our products: Online surveys, single person interviews and group feedback sessions.

We used online survey service '' to collect our results, which was useful as our target audience seemed happy that they could access this from their phones, and we promptly collected responses.

How our feedback shaped our production

While editing the video we took group feedback that helped us improve it into something more appealing to our target audience.

We also surveyed and interviewed our audiences about the finished media products. The survey responses to the music video can be seen below:

From this feedback we were able to tell that our target audiences generally enjoyed our video, and largely agreed upon the genre of our song being R&B with garage and pop, which shows that our video did a decent job of signifying genre. We also got some agreement about the personality of the band that we tried to present in the video, as cool and laid-back, with the word 'Chill' coming up several times (Meaning cool and laid-back.). The things that audiences said that they liked about the video seemed to vary, such as the lighting of the studio shots, the location shots and with several people mentioning the siren shots. When it came to criticising the video, our audience generally had the same complaint that the narrative shots didn't fit very well with the rest of our video and that the split screen shot at the end didn't look as professional as the rest of the video.

Digipak feedback

Our audiences response to our digipak are shown below:

The response to the digipak was more mixed than the response to the video, but was still fairly positive overall. Once again audiences were able to accurately identify the digipak as R&B with most people also recognising the presence of the DJ as a signifier of a more dance based genre, such as UK Garage. Similarly to the video, audiences identified CRUZE as cool and laid back from the album artwork, but many also commented on how confident the singer and DJ looked on the front and back covers due to their direct gaze at the viewer. When asked whether they preferred the outside cover or the inside cover (Which consists of one photograph across both panels.), most of our audience said they preferred the inside cover, although both were complemented. It is therefore not surprising that most of the improvements suggested in our survey focused on problems with the outside cover, although most of them were fairly minor.

Website feedback

Audiences responses to the website was generally very positive, with many praising the homepage's design, although one person said it seemed cluttered. The audiences thought that our website looked like it belonged to an R&B act, which was good as this was the primary audience we were trying to appeal to. There was also lots of praise for how easy it was to navigate our website, with every person surveyed agreeing that it was clear and simple. The responses to what the best and worst things about the website were much more varied, with audiences both praising and suggesting improvements for all different pages and features.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Evaluation Q4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?

Throughout this project I took advantage of various different new media technologies in order to help me during the research, planning, construction and evaluation of my music video, digipak and website. I went through a significant learning curve with many of these technologies over the course of the project, and began with relatively little knowledge of how to use them but learnt as I went along.


The starting point of this project was researching first what song we wanted to use in our music video, and once that had been decided I had to research our target audience and similar artists that have been successful. These technologies are presented in the mind map below:


Throughout our planning process we used even more technologies, although there is also some overlap with our research. These technologies are shown in the prezi embedded below:


Construction was the area where we used the greatest quantity of technology, mainly due to how much hardware we had to use to create our music video, as well as the large amount of software that enabled us to produce the digipak and website. These tools are explained and analysed in the slideshow below:


During my evaluation I have relied on some of my favourite online tools. The only significant hardware I've used for the evaluation is once again desktop PCs, and also my Dell Inspiron laptop, which allows me to access the internet from my home.

Google slides

This tool has been used at least once in each question of the evaluation and for good reason, as it very simple to use and has synergy with Blogger, making it very simple to insert into my posts. I've never had any problems with this software, and it allows me to fit a large amount of information into a small area without having to cram it all in.


Out of the many mind-map tools available on the internet this is the one I have used, mainly because it is the one I have the most experience with. it has allowed me to sort out lots of information by separating and grouping together small text boxes and pictures, and also looks visually appealing. The main issue with Coggle is that images are usually extremely small when inserted and cannot be made larger, which was sometimes annoying if the picture used is not simplistic.


Prezi was the other slideshow software I used along with Google slides, as it allowed me to create something which put lots of information into an engaging and compact presentation. Prezi has the added advantage of extremely unique slide transitions which make every presentation feel like a maze which has to be navigated by the user. The problems with prezi are the lack of control the user has over the size and shape of the slides and how difficult it is to embed prezis into blogger, with the user having to get a url from the prezi website and paste the url of the presentation into the other url, which is convoluted and confusing.


I only used Padlet once because I didn't particularly enjoy using it, but it was still a useful way to put lots of visual information into a small area, and also let me describe and annotate the visual media. However, I don't believe it looks very good when embedded and also be warned that for some reason when I tried to make a padlet for question 3 it wouldn't work and refused to let me create any text boxes or insert images.


I used YouTube frequently throughout the evaluation, mainly to get screenshots and GIFs from our video and inspirational videos, some of which I have embedded in full throughout the evaluation. Youtube works very well, and other than pre-video advertisements being annoying everything worked very well during my evaluation.


This was a vital website for my evaluation, especially for question 3, as it allowed me to collect audience feedback online from our target audience. We had to first create the surveys and then send them out, which took a while but was easy to do. Overall, surveymonkey is a fantastic service which worked well, other than some confusing menus when revisiting an old survey.


Giphy was the main website I used to produce GIFs, which I used in several of my answers during the evaluation as they allow me to demonstrate techniques such as editing and movement which would be far more difficult using a screenshot. Giphy works using Youtube links, and as such I was only able to use it to make GIFs of rushes which I had uploaded, which was a time-consuming process. Giphy also had a tendency to crash regularly when I tried to create GIFs, but the GIFs it does produce are high quality and easy to embed.


Finally, Blogger has obviously been one of the primary tools I have used for my evaluation, as it is where the evaluation has been created. While I have many issues with blogger, such as how difficult it is to format and move images, it is a piece of software I have lots of experience in, and finished posts usually look very impressive.


When I began this project I had experience with only a small number of the tools I have since used, and I believe I have learned how to use several important pieces of technology and software to a competent degree from scratch. Although I would say there are some tools I didn't improve at using due to experience I already had - Microsoft Word and Youtube for example - I believe I have learned much about the majority of the hardware and software that I have used, particularly the Canon 5D Mark II camera, the Zero 88 Leapfrog lighting desk in terms of hardware and Wix, prezi and surveymonkey in terms of software.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Construction Post 6: Website post-production

I spent more time on the CRUZE website than on anything else during the post-production period, and I believe it has taught me the most skills. I used to build the website and used Adobe Photoshop to create most of the images for the website.

Me editing the website.

I started off by creating background images for the main pages of our website, which was my first experience creating a complex image using photoshop, and although it took me a little while to get used to all of the tools, I eventually got the hang of it and managed to create the necessary images. The images used photos from our indoor photo session, and the layout and tabs of the website had been planned in the pre-production stages of our project. When I showed some members of our target audience these images they said they thought they fit well with the "vibe" of the band, and looked professional.

The main homepage image
The background image for the 'about' tab of our website
The background image for the 'contact' tab of our website.
The background image for the tour page.
For the 'Music' tab of the website I used another photo form the Brick Lane photo shoot for the background, as I thought it was appropriate to present the music with an image that presented the grittier, more urban side of CRUZE, which audiences said they had enjoyed from our music video. 

Apart from creating these backgrounds, I also created all of the product images in the CRUZE shop, primarily by using print-your-own-design websites that allow users to preview their custom designs over a variety of products, such as T-shirts, hats and backpacks, items of merch which we had seen on nearly every music website we looked at.

I also created a Facebook page for CRUZE, and linked it to the website, which required me to maintain a somewhat active social media presence.

I also had to use audio editing program audacity to create blank audio tracks to fill up the space on the 'Crocodile Tears' album section on the 'Music' tab of the website, which I had never done before.

An example of audacity in use
I also had to get to grips with using the website builder Wix, which wasn't too bad, as the interface was very clear. I also tried to include opportunities for audience interaction, through a competition I created, as I believed this would make the website more interesting for the user.

I am very happy with the finished website, which you can see here:

Our target audience said that the website was very strong for the most part, with images and layout that looked professional. They said that they also liked the attempt to interact with the user through competitions, although some said they "wouldn't actually enter the competition, because you had to have a twitter account", so perhaps I could have included some opportunities for users of other social networks to enter a competition. 

Construction Post 5: Digipak post-production

Out of the three artefacts, the digipak was the one I had the least involvement with, but I still did a significant amount of work on it. The digipak was created using Adobe Photoshop. Before starting, we already had inspirations such as Craig David's cover to his debut album 'Fill me in', as well as using some planning sketches I had done in the pre-production stages of the task.

The sketch we used for planning.

From this inspiration we began by using pictures we had taken in our in-school photoshoot, cropping out the backgrounds are spot-healing to enhance the way the singer and DJ looked. We also found an appropriate background and modified it to look more pink, a colour scheme we had agreed upon beforehand.

The unedited image of Aisha as the singer of CRUZE.
The unedited image of me as the DJ in CRUZE.
The unedited background of the cover.
The audience response to the cover at this stage was generally positive, with people saying that they liked the background and the photos and thought it looked professional, but also saying that the costume worn in the photo on the front cover looked unpleasantly non-symmetrical, so we fixed this in Photoshop.

We got the fonts used on the cover from website '', which was interesting as I had never used an external font from a website before, although it was easy to implement. I ran into a small amount of difficulty when trying to get the song titles to show up clearly, eventually realising that I had to cut a track from the tracklist in order to make it fit with in the light colour of the cloud, which made the titles easy to read.

The final stages included working on the cropping of the image of me on the back cover and adding on the 'Nimbus Records' logo (Which I also created), adding the bar code and adding the legal information required on the back cover. The cover is also based off of some designs we had planned beforehand.
The final outside cover for the digipak.
I also chose, cropped and edited the inside cover image. We had planned for the inside cover to be a single image, and we chose an image from our photo shoot from our fourth week of post-production where we re-visited Brick Lane to get some shots for this purpose.

The final inside cover of the digipak.
The audience response to the final was quite positive,the inside cover especially being praised for it's urban look and that it had good synergy with the music video, but also saying that the front cover looked a bit flat as criticism.

Construction Post 4: Music video post-production

Our music video was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro.

In the first stage of editing I had to go through all of the footage and name it appropriately, which took a significant amount of time in itself due to the large quantity of shots that we had.filmed. Once this was finished I began to put the shots down, trying to stick to the conventions we had found when we looked at videos in the same genre. this included cutting at varying speeds depending on the tempo of the music. I also tried to give the video a sense of progression through both the narrative presented in the video and also through only specific setups for different sections of the song, such as mainly using the 'police siren' shots for the "Don't want to feel you, don't want you on my mind" refrain of my song, and only introducing the projector shots during the second verse. I also utilised some editing techniques that I had learnt from editing my preliminary music video remake, such as editing footage to give a realistic lip-sync with the music.
The default screen of Adobe Premiere Pro

 I then got some feedback on the video from our target audience, who said that they generally liked it, but that the colour difference between the studio shots and the location shots was a bit jarring and that some of the narrative shots were a bit confusing.

After finishing the basic edit and carrying out some improvements, I started focusing on grading the video, which I hoped would fix some of these complaints mainly consisted of lowering the brightness and increasing the contrast of the already colourful studio shots to give them a deeper, more eye-catching appearance. and increasing the saturation of the location shots to make them less jarring when edited next to the much brighter studio shots. This final edit was praised by our target audience, with comments praising how professional the video looked, with one person saying "It's like a real video!". People also praised the way that the video developed as it went on with new setups constantly being introduced, which "Kept the video interesting." Despite this, some people had some criticism, mainly to do with the narrative, which some said was "A bit confusing" and that "The acting wasn't great.", but I do believe that the narrative is a net gain for the video, as it gives some context to the video and visualises the story in the song's lyrics.

An example of a non-graded shot on the left and a graded shot from the same take on the right. The dark parts of the shot are much darker in the graded version, and the colours stand out more as a result.