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You Me At Six: Reckless

A case study focusing on the concept of audience, relating to my own production.

Institutional Information
Band: You Me At Six Genre: Alternative/indie rock Nationality: English Album: Sinners Never Sleep Album Recorded: 2011, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Album Release Date: 3 October 2011 Label: Virgin Track Name: Reckless Track Number: 8 Track Length: 4:29 Track Single Release Date: 22 October 2012

Primary Target Audience Demographic

Own Production Age: 17-21 Most people shown in the video, as well as all band members and entourage, appear to be around this age which allows an audience of a similar age to identify themselves with those shown in the shots. Swearing, alcohol and somewhat general reckless behaviour shown in the video is stereotypically associated with people of this age. Male Most people shown in the video are male. All-male band. White British Most people shown in shot are of this ethnicity. Binge drinking and childish behaviour commonly seen as stereotypical of British youth.

Gender: Ethnicity:

Reckless The audience demographic of this music video would be deemed as almost identical to that of my own production as, similarly, most people featured in the video are white British males, suspected to be around the ages of 17-21. However, the target audience for this track could potentially aim to include females; on several occasions the band is seen to be directly interacting with female fans. However, considering genre and the fact that the majority of figures shown are male, I believe the audience demographic to be mainly male dominated but aims to begin to develop the generic audience of the indie rock genre to include females also.

Audience and Video Relationship

Gig Experience/Performance in Reckless: Gigs and concerts are extremely popular within the music industry and especially so within the indie/alternative rock genre; this upbeat genre relies heavily on the experience and atmosphere surrounding live performances to reaffirm their popularity and appeal to their fan base. By including shots of an impressive stage (with smoke cannons and flash lighting) adds to the hectic, carefree disposition of the fans, reflecting the jovial, light-hearted nature of the band and also enables the audience to relate to and share the exciting experience of witnessing a live performance. This may also heighten the audience by energising memories of previous experiences and therefore encouraging audiences to attend future gigs, as well as encouraging those who may not have experienced such performances to attend. Relation to Own Production: I have used the idea of performance and atmosphere within my own music video by including shots of the band performing the song. However, as the band who recorded and produced my track, Not My Day, have since split and are no longer performing, I was forced to compromise and use friends as actors. This also meant that I could not get footage of a large gig performance and therefore instead used the idea of band practise. This, I believe, worked well in that the audience of my music video are able to relate more to the actors seen as, being in a more normal, average location, the audience are more able to place themselves in the situation.

Audience and Video Relationship

Location in Reckless: Throughout the music video the band is shown to be in a variety of locations; some are accessible and allow the audience to relate, whereas others are specific to the artists and highlight their status as a band. At around 2:30 band member, Max Heyler, is seen messing around on an ordinary-looking street location, positioned next to a classically British, red double decker bus. This location not only represents the Britishness of the band but also places them in an every day location, available and relatable to their audience. Relation to Own Production: To fully enable the audience to relate to my production, I mirrored the street location used within the Reckless video. However, unwilling to copy the shot directly, I decided to use one of Norwichs old cobbled streets to represent the Britishness of the band and to replace the idea of the bus as a background.

Audience and Video Relationship

Clothing and Appearance in Reckless: In the opening shot of the music video the band members are shown to be advancing down a flight of stairs in a casual nature, chatting and wearing casual attire, typical to the genre. Bands within the alternative rock genre tend to wear dark coloured, casual clothing such as t-shirts, relaxed shirts, jeans and trainers, often supporting genre-specific brands and band tops. Being in casual attire, the audience is able to immediately establish genre and style as well as being able to relate and feel a sense of familiarity from the bands image. With genres such as indie-rock, the fashion and style of such bands is extremely influential on the styles and appearance of the fan base. Relation to Own Production: To ensure the audience of my production also feel able to relate and create a relationship between the band and the fan base, I too ensured that each person (especially the main vocal singer) appearing in the music video was dressed in casual, genre-typical attire: dark-coloured t-shirts, jeans and lumber-jack style checked shirts.

Audience and Video Relationship

Band-fan relationship in Reckless: Throughout the video there are various shots of the band members directly interacting with the audience/fan base. This would appeal to the audience as it immediately establishes a relationship between the band and its fans; the audience viewing the video are more likely to create a likeness for the artists and may also be able to place themselves in the position of the fans on the video or aim to meet the band themselves, therefore increasing the band-fan relationship and ensuring their faces are known and increasing popularity. The fans shown in the production are seen to be around the ages of the target audience demographic, however there are many shots that are shown to be female-dominated. This may have been done to increase target audience; primarily aimed at a male audience, the band ensures the females of the same age/ethnicity are featured in the video to encourage a more widespread, unisex audience.

Audience and Video relationship

Male Audience in Reckless: Within the montage there are various actions and activities shown that may be considered to be stereotypically masculine in nature; the band are seen to be playing football, drinking beer and generally messing around in a somewhat childish manner. Stereotypically, sports such as football and activities such as drinking alcohol (especially beer and ale) are considered typical to the male gender and therefore the idea of a dominantly male audience is supported; the audience would be able to relate to and feel a familiarity to the actions seen throughout the video and therefore establish a relationship with the band members.

Male Audience in Own Production: Alcohol is also featured in my production but is used more so to show the carefree, fun-loving nature of British youth today and not necessarily to suggest gender. However, after reviewing and analysing my own video again, I suspect that the shots of the pint of Guiness may appear to encourage a genderspecific audience; this specific type of alcohol is stereotypically seen as a mans ale which may persuade viewers to assume a male audience more so than what was intended. The shots of the skateboard (also seen as a more masculine activity) may encourage this further.

Audience Theory
In 1974 researchers Bulmer and Katz expanded Lasswells 1948 theory of Uses and Gratifications to say that individuals might chose and use a text for the following purposes: Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine. Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional and other interaction (e.g. substituting soap operas for family life) Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts Surveillance - Information which could be useful for living (e.g. weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains)

After analysing the generic use of audience and video relation through factors such as gender, age, appearance, location and attitudes in both my own production and existing production Reckless by popular indie rock band You Me At Six, I am able to confidently suggest that elements of Bulmer and Katzs theory on audience are correct and exercised within the indie rock genre, and more specifically, within my own production.
Bulmer and Katz suggest that audiences look to music videos and iconic artist images in order to establish their own personal identity in regards to appearance, behaviour and life/moral values. This is apparent within my previous slides of analysis which each identify individual elements and aspects of ones life that can be related to within an existing production, as well as my own. Many artists and producers do this purposely in the hope that the audience establish a relationship or create a sense of familiarity in connection with the band and therefore increase the artists fan base/following.

This theory has been used within my own production to successfully promote the band.