Friday, 20 October 2017

Comparing 2 music videos Smiths v Sheeran

TBC

Its tempting to suggest viewing the EdS example with the audio off, but sadly you couldn't analyse the editing properly then...

There are many ways to approach analysing one, or comparing two, music videos. The key for you is to ensure that you give SOME consideration to ALL 4 Key Concepts: Media language, Audience, Representations, Industry ['Institutions'] - MARI Christmas!

Lets start with the one that may seem least obvious, INDUSTRY.

THE TWO VIDEOS
THE SMITHS: "This Charming Man"


ED SHEERAN: "Bibia B Ye Ye"


APPLYING KEY CONCEPT INDUSTRY
Your 1st question is: major label or Indie?
However, you can also look at the distribution of the video itself; its number of views; and the same for the track on the likes of Spotify.

To develop these raw stats, you can research the debate over how much/little the new media giants like Spotify and YouTube pay the record labels (who then give some share to the artist): you should be astonished once you find precise figures just how little they pay per stream! The other side of the argument is the big money that the online giants pay out OVERALL to the music industry: billions each year.

You can find lots of links (and even try specific tags such as monetizing - how artists seek to make money now that physical recorded music revenue has fallen so much) on my musividz blog. I blog a lot on the music industry, have a browse! You'll find themes such as the return of vinyl, the use of special/collectors editions, touring, merchandise (etc) are all vital - and a YouTube video can bring in good money if it reaches 8 figures (10m+) in streams.

KEY INDUSTRY TERMS
CONGLOMERATE:  large company that owns other companies (subsidiaries)
SUBSIDIARY: a company owned by a conlomerate
INDIE: an 'independent' company not owned by a larger company. Some Indies do have subsidiaries, but because they are still smaller companies they aren't really thought of as conglomerates. Beggars Group is an interesting example of an Indie conglomerate!
MAJORS: the really big record labels, the ones that can afford to bid for the biggest music stars, are known as major record labels
THE BIG THREE: just 3 conglomerates dominate the music industry worldwide: Warners, Universal, Sony

THE SMITHS: INDIE OR MAJOR?
The answer isn't always simple: the record label that produces the song/album/video might be Indie but sometimes they make a deal for DISTRIBUTION through a major record label.
Without looking any further into it, a simple Google tells me that The Smiths were on an Indie label, Rough Trade:
I'd need to investigate further to see if they were LATER (after they split up) DISTRIBUTED by Warner, one of the music industry's BIG THREE. Read more on who this is using this tag, or this post. Big 3 WUSup is maybe a way to remember them!

So what? Well, that almost always means much lower budgets for videos - although the impact of digitisation, specifically convergence, means that even low budget videos can look very high quality these days. You are shooting full HD, for example, and have access to 120fps video (great for slo-mo FX).

Here's where the Industry KC meets Media language:
Wow - what a *gorgeous* setting!
We can instantly see this is a cheap video - though the sheer amount of flowers might have added a lot to the budget!

ED SHEERAN: INDIE OR MAJOR?
Lets leave The Smiths for a moment and consider EdS. Another simple Google reveals he appears to have a more direct major record label link: Atlantic are his main label (he also has own label, GingerMan, through Warners), and it takes one simple right-click/open in new tab, to confirm they are a Warners subsidiary



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1.      Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.
(e.g. stage performance in metal videos, dance routine for boy/girl band, aspiration in Hip Hop).
2.      There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics are represented with images.
(either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
3.      There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone and atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music. [This is essentially Vernallis’ point. Anton Corbijn’s Joy Division videos are a good example; moody black and white to reflect the gothic music; so too the 2011 student Joy Division video [blogs]]
(either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
4.      The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). [Richard Dyer again!]
5.      There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, mirrors, stages, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. [Can link to male gaze etc]
6.      There are often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc). [Kristeva, other postmodern theory]

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Monday, 25 September 2017

KC REPRESENTATION Golden Girls and countertype v stereotype

You have 4 Key Concepts to carefully consider throughout the course: MARI...

The clip below contains a mix of stereotype and countertype for you to consider. This show was broadcast in the pre-digital era on a mainstream channel, therefore it couldn't simply target 'older' people as its primary target audience. How does the use of countertypes and stereotypes widen the potential target audience for this show?


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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

TV DRAMA MEDIA LANGUAGE Class and Downton clips

Two short clips to look at, one 30-second trailer for Class (Season 4, BBC3) and ITV's Downton Abbey season 1 trailer (60 seconds).

CLASS, BBC3 SEASON 4 TRAILER

SOME WIDER CONTEXT:
  • a BBC3 (online via iPlayer youth [15-34] channel) sci-fi spin-off from Dr Who, but for YA audience (slightly older than Dr Who)
  • here's a BBC summary
  • there is lots of content, including fan art and other UGC, on this BBC page
  • ...and the Wiki.
  • Skip to the bottom for more videos which help put Class in context
HOMEWORK FOR MONDAY 18TH: Storyboard this trailer. Drawings don't need to be complex - stick men/shapes are fine. Denote (write) the basic framing (ELS-ECU range; 2-shot, OTS etc) and angle (LA/HA/MA/DA; worm's eye; helicopter shot). Comment on the media language used.

NEW DRAMA STORYBOARDING TASK: BBC3 is a youth (15-34) channel. BBC4 goes for an older, upmarket audience, and is launching a new drama series called Home, about the goings on in a retirement ('old folks') home. Your job is to come up with a storyboard of at least 12 shots for a trailer that (1) sets the scene (2) introduces 3 key characters (3) one of which is a terrifying bully. EXTENSION: If you have time, you can also add notes on the non-diegetic music you would use; how costume or props would signify or connote [symbolize] character; and any transitions or SFX you might use.
YOUR BBC4 DRAMA - QUICK DECISIONS TO MAKE:
(A) TWIST Like Class, is there a twist or 'hybrid' element? It adds Dr Who sci-fi to the school drama, yours can be outrageous too. 
(B) CHARACTERS - decide on the age, gender and position (resident or worker, manager or owner) HERO - a resident or a worker/boss? VILLAIN/BULLY - a resident or a worker/boss? Male or female? Age? 3RD KEY CHARACTER -  a sidekick, love interest, perhaps the boss/owner? Male or female?
(C) SCENES TO INCLUDE IN TRAILER You might have one longer scene, but include some shots from multiple scenes just as you'd expect a trailer to. Think about shots that help establish the setting; the nature of characters (eg angles, two shot); create some mystery.


DOWNTON ABBEY, ITV SEASON 1 TRAILER


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Shoes like Class arguably exist because of the high school/horror hybrid Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which also blended comedy and romance into its hybrid genre approach. We call an early influential example, almost a template for further efforts, an archetype.


Here's a longer Class trailer (the 19 seconds trailer is a teaser trailer) which should give you a better idea of how the show works.

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

MUSIC VIDEO Miley Cyrus task

We will explore and discuss one example as a class, and your task will be to summarise your findings on a PowerPoint for the lesson on Friday 8th September, including screenshots to illustrate. Homeworks will usually be for Tuesdays.

You have two weeks to complete/improve your summer work, submitting for Tuesday 19th September lesson, applying learning from Miley and other examples (as PowerPoint or Word).



The following 5 steps are one simple, quick way of exploring a music video. You should see the link to the Key Concepts (MARI). There is much more you could also consider, and there should be plentiful use of precise terminology as you go.

STEP 1: BASIC MEDIA LANGUAGE
As we view, shout out if you see a shot type or angle we have not seen yet. Make a note, including the timing, so you can easily get a screenshot.
EXTENSION: can you link this to any of Andrew Goodwin's points? (He wrote a book in which he set out the features of media language that defines the music video format - you have notes on this)

STEP 2: ASSESSING THE MEDIA LANGUAGE
What is typical about the media language we've seen in this video? [Again, it will boost your grade to draw on theory such as Goodwin's] What media language do we think is typical of music videos?
Is there anything that is unusual (atypical) for the music video format?
Does it make any difference to the media language if we think more about genre?
[As part of your homework, count the number of cuts in the video EXTENSION: work out how many cuts that makes per 60 seconds. HINT: Convert 3:41 to seconds]

STEP 3: WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?
Remember to use your handouts to keep key terms/concepts in mind (eg uses and ...? theory)
Who do you think is 'the' audience, and why? [Think about why I've written 'the' audience, and be specific with your evidence]

STEP 4: STEREO/COUNTERTYPE OF GENDER?
Is this stereotypical, counterypical ... or both?
Would a feminist approve?
EXTENSION: Would a post-feminist approve?
Are there other aspects or themes of representation you want to raise?

STEP 5: WHAT IS VEVO?
Explain clearly who/what this is.
What terms can you use from your film work to help explain the company types? Use these again to denote (state) and explain the type of record label or distributor that Miley Cyrus is signed to.

OPTIONAL STEP 6: CAN YOU IMPROVE NOTES BY MAKING LINKS BETWEEN TOPICS?
Now you have considered some key aspects of the video you might be able to improve, extend your earlier notes and analysis.
Perhaps you can see themes you'd like to write about under your own heading, not the simple single Key Concept-linked headings I've used.
Ultimately you will be submitting 12 pages of evidence which samples or summarises your research AND pre-production work (location scouting, drafting, costume, make-up, audience feedback etc). You don't need to immediately start on laying out beautiful Word documents (PowerPoint may help you to produce good notes quicker) - focus on building up well-evidenced/illustrated research that you will be able to adapt.

Over to you...
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Friday, 23 June 2017

TV reboots

Even better this time round: The Crystal Maze, Twin Peaks and our golden age of TV reboots https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jun/23/the-crystal-maze-twin-peaks-golden-age-of-tv-reboots?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Summer work 2017

For current Year 10s entering Y11 in September 2017, your summer work tasks have been discussed, and are detailed in pages 9-10 of the guide below:


OPTIONAL: You will also have returned work from assignments 1 and 2, and can get ahead by re-drafting these during the summer.

As explained, email replies will be minimal until late July, but you will get a response. You should use your Office365 account to do so - and look out for new resources being added in August (which will be announced through Office365). You need to access your Office365 mail and click to join the class you've been invited to!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

TV Game Show presenter - justifying your choice

There are similarities with your magazine cover star and film leads in what you need to consider and be prepared to write about:

AUDIENCE: Everything comes back to this in the end; all decisions need to be justifiable with reference to target audience. Remember you can split up and discuss the audience (type) in many ways:
  • primary (main; core), secondary
  • mainstream (eg a family audience!), niche
  • four quadrant (really a film term - say so if using it - but still a useful concept)
  • ABC1C2DE (socio-economic groups: high to low incomes, where ABC1s are targeted with complex, sophisticated media productions and C2DEs with simpler, less sophisticated productions; your range may be any range within this, eg C1C2DE for a gameshow with ANY element of sophistication or audience (intellectual) challenge
  • sophisticated, upmarket (ABC1) and tabloid, downmarket (C2DE) is another way of describing these
  • Uses and gratifications model!!! Also vital for...

Monday, 24 April 2017

TV Game Show exam tasks

You have now been given your exam prelim material (see below). You need to research a range of issues in preparation for this...





KEY POINTS FROM THE BRIEF

Key points to consider:
  1. your idea would be pitched to a digital channel, NOT a terrestrial or free-to-air channel
  2. they've asked members of the public to pitch, perhaps further connoting low budget...
  3. it must have a USP
    • you'll quickly see there are MANY competing game shows
    • what will make YOURS stand out?
  4. it must appeal to all the family, younger, older, male, female (four quadrants)
    • look at how shows like Family Fortunes tried to appeal to a family audience
    • think carefully about Key Concepts Representation/Media Language: the presenter/s, set, contestants, task or competition - and difficulty level of any questions or challenges (can younger viewers engage, or (U+G theory!) identify?) 
    • the programme title itself is very important - and, just like a magazine masthead, you need to plan the look of this: you could search for a specific font and mock this up, just be prepared to denote the font (serif, bubble, case, colour etc)
  5. "the focus on the family audience must be clear from the opening title sequence" 
    • be prepared to storyboard your title sequence
  6. the slot is Saturday evening primetime, scheduled for autumn
    • research what shows currently hold these slots
    • a good sign of success is it coming back for more than one year or season!!!
  7. viewers at home must be able to play along in some way: audience interactivity, engagement
  8. social media/e-media are vital to promoting the show and brand + increase the audience
    • this could also be about monetising: SMS/premium rate phone voting or competition entry, but also (freemium?) apps, board games, DVD games etc
    • be prepared to draw a website, app or social media home page (or more)
    • research existing examples
  9. your idea needs to be backed up with evidence from existing, successful game shows

Friday, 31 March 2017

TRAILERS The It remake

This is a side-by-side comparison of the upcoming 2017 version and the original 1990 TV minseries, a useful example of how important UNoriginality plays in a film industry that recognises the difficulty in marketing new ideas, and seeks to draw in secondary older audiences through nostalgia.


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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

FILM pitching

Use your practice pitch, and notes/handouts to help develop a strong pitch - the process of presenting a film proposal to film financiers/distributors, trying to convince them to risk money on your movie.

Your pitch should be backed by a PowerPoint or video with plentiful, frequent, relevant illustration.

This needs to be emailed (a YouTube link if video) before the Friday 7th April lesson. You will also Monday's lesson to work on this.

It should address:

1: SYNOPSIS
In no more than 2 sentences, sum up the narrative.
State at least 2 films this has similarities to (explain how), noting their box office + which audience/s you think those examples appeal to.
RESEARCH TIP: if you google 'film title box office https://www.theguardian.com/uk/film' you might find useful analysis on the audience, or just try 'film title audience' - Avatar example1; example2.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

TV Game Shows lists and clips

TBC

BBC game shows Wiki;
UK Game Shows (site dedicated to this);




CLIPS

EVERY SECOND COUNTS 1993


CATCHWORD 1989


PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT 1996


SPIN OFF


THE WALL 2011


PASSWORD 1950s


STRIKE IT LUCKY


FAMILY FORTUNES 2000s


FAMILY FEUD





 
SPORTS/PHYSICAL CHALLENGE GAME SHOWS
There have been many of these, from It's a Knockout to Channel 4's disastrous The Jump, a hybrid with reality TV in which contestants kept getting seriously injured (so it was axed).

GLADIATORS 1990s
This became a successful international format/franchise, and even saw international spin-offs, with various national champions facing off against each other.


THE KRYPTON FACTOR 1980/90s + SPECIALS



DATING SHOWS
A classic format, with Blind Date the queen of the format, fuelled by 60s pop star Cilla Black's catchphrases delivered in a broad scouse accent. Take Me Out is a more modern version, losing all the gentleness of its predecessors and putting an unsubtle meat market on screen. Mr and Mrs was a long running, very old-fashioned show.

TAKE ME OUT 2010s


BLIND DATE 1980s


MR AND MRS 1970/80s + 2010s CELEBRITY REMAKE


KIDS/TEENS GAME SHOWS
The format is adopted not just for mainstream mass 'family' audiences (primetime, teatime and lunchtime slots, not to mention endless re-runs throughout the day on channels such as Dave or Challenge, with very occasional post-watershed 'adult' shows too), but also for younger niche audiences. Runaround and Crackerjack are two classic examples, combining quiz and physical competition elements, and Crackerjack being something of a hybrid, almost a variety or chat show with its special guests. 

Blockbusters was a hugely popular quiz show in the 80s and 90s with school and uni students, featuring sixth formers (Year 12/13; age 16-19). Slightly older university level students have become a key part of the audience for other daytime quiz shows, not least Countdown.

RUNAROUND 1970s


CRACKERJACK 1982



BLOCKBUSTERS 1991

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Monday, 13 March 2017

MUSIC VIDEO audience research

These A2 students created a video survey, embedded below
As this is a new topic for GCSE here, there aren't any past examples to show you - but you can take inspiration from some A2 Media work.

This document, aimed at A2 students, sets out some of the ways you can evidence audience research:



You need to show you TESTED your initial judgement on a suitable target audience, and gathering SOME survey data on whether teens (or others) recognise your genre, artist or specific track is a good starting point. Getting some brief descriptions of what those vaguely familiar with the genre/artist expect to see is also useful.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Warp v Working Title Film examples

EXPLORING THE FILM INDUSTRY FOR ASSIGNMENT 2

We'll watch and compare these two trailers shortly



You can find additional resources in these posts:
We'll focus on two contrasting companies to begin exploring this industry.
  • Working Title is owned by a huge US conglomerate (company that owns other companies), and so can make high budget movies
  • Warp is an Indie (not owned by a larger company), and so makes low budget films

You can see the trump cards below for a selection of these. NOTE: I've blogged on many of these films in much more detail over on my Cinema blog.

Here are the boxofficemojo links for each (this site gives budgets, box office figures):

WORKING TITLE
2 contrasting companies in trump cards (gallery further down)
Bridget Jones's Baby (Maguire, 2016)
Sequel to Bridget Jones' Diary and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason
Green Zone (Greengrass, 2010)
Marketing of this action/spy thriller tried to tap into the Bond rip-off Bourne's success by focusing on Matt Damon, with disappointing resultd
Hot Fuzz (Wright, 2007)
Second of the 'Cornetto Trilogy' this cop buddy satire was a sizeable hit despite its low budget.
Legend (Helgeland, 2014)
International audiences just weren't familiar with the Kray Twins (real life post-war London gangsters), and so box office was low outwith the UK
Les Miserables (Hooper, 2012)
Global IP/brand + A-list stars = global hit!
The sort of A-list star-studded movie, based on a globally successful IP (the long-running musical), that Indies couldn't dream of, this was a solid success
Notting Hill (Michell, 1999)
The company's second global hit rom-com starred megastar Julia Roberts, and made a star of Hugh Grant, fresh of Four Weddings and a Funeral success.
Paul (Mottola, 2011)
Featuring the (British) Cornetto Trilogy leads, this sci-fi/comedy hybrid used an A-lister (Seth Rogen) and a US setting to boost its US and international appeal
Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004)
Still popular with today's teens, the zom-rom-com that kickstarted the Corentto Trilogy
The World's End (Wright, 2013)
The budget was much higher than the previous Cornetto Trilogy movies, but the box office wasn't - I've blogged on why in detail
Theory of Everything (Marsh, 2014)
Typical Working Title: well off white southern English characters in a grand setting, with the romance framework boosting appeal to this biopic of Stephen Hawking.




Budget: just £48k!
WARP FILMS/WARP X
'71 (Demange, 2014)
Set at the start of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles' (armed conflict verging on civil war), this action/thriller could have been a hit with a star or two
Four Lions (Morris, 2010)
Such a bizarre idea: a comedy about a su*icide b*mber! A suprise hit in the UK, but it didn't do well in the US
She a Chinese (Xiaolu, 2011) [no entry]
You can't get much more uncommercial (unlikely to make money) than this: a Chinese woman illegally stays in Britain after running off from an official tour
Submarine (Ayaode, 2010)
Ingenious Welsh teen rom-com
This is England (Meadows, 2006)
The franchise continued on TV, with 3 series of sometimes brutal social realist drama
Tyrannosaur (Considine, 2011)
Another dark drama, despite the (sort-of) romance, it proved a hard sell with its two unglamorous middle-aged leads
Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee (Meadows, 2009)
Shane Meadows shot this mockumentary in just 5 days! Its entire budget wouldn't cover the catering on some tentpole Hollywood shoots!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Crossword challenge 1

You can type directly into this; click through to https://crosswordlabs.com/view/gcse-some-major-terms
If you're really stuck, I can give you a list of the words used for answers - though you'll still need to match them up to the right answer!

2017 Y11 crosswords are below the read more link...

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

FILM POSTER media language to audience analysis

...
The high angle and shocked facial expression (of Pegg especially) connotes the vulnerability of the two humans in the picture. As well as a convincing alien figure achieving verisimilitude for this, the sci-fi genre is also signified through the purple/violet circle of light. More anchorage for the genre is given through the graphic design of the 'a' in Paul, featuring an alien figure.
The choice of a white bubble font signifies a less serious tone, and a target audience that includes teens, even though the uses and gratifications theory suggests teens might not so easily identify with the mature adult pair.
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FILM drafts

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CW's alt version:

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MAGAZINE your drafts

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Missed HI's (click to expand):

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Saturday, 28 January 2017

MAGAZINE audience research - get the advertiser profiles!

Just above this caption you'll see 'Media Pack' - this is for advertisers, detailing the readership of the magazine (Conde Nast Britain)

Most magazines take in more revenue from advertising than from the cover price (from which, don't forget, distributors and retailers get their cut!).

In a very real sense, if you go out and buy a magazine, you're not buying anything ... you're being sold to advertisers!
Giant multinational conglomerate Time Inc. UK boast to advertisers of their music mag Uncut readership's spending habits

At A-Level we look at theories such as Noam Chomsky's 'propaganda model' which argues advertisers play a highly ideological role in the media industry, acting as a 'filter' to keep out radical ideas that might threaten the rich and powerful.
Part of Dennis Publishing's blurb on 1 of their many titles

For GCSE, just be aware that they play a key role in magazine branding: every title is seeking to attract an audience that will appeal to certain advertisers. This might be niche (narrow, specific, highly selective) or mainstream (broad, general) but the bottom line is that advertisers will not risk wasting valuable resources paying for space in a magazine that doesn't fit their customer profile. They MUST know who they'll be reaching with their ads - the age range, gender and income levels at a minimum.
Part of Haymarket Media's advertiser pitch for glossy footie mag FourFourTwo

Therefore, magazine publishers are under pressure to provide detailed information, including demographic data (the % of readers within categories such as age, gender, income) to advertisers. This can often be found on the main websites of publishers, and accessing some examples should help you make your own audience analysis much more sophisticated.
Bauer, one of the leading UK publishers, provides advertisers with an interactive tool to match their needs to magazine brands!
Just a few of the many magazine brands owned by Time Inc. UK

To find these you need to know who the major magazine publishers are. In the UK, the focus for this blog, these change over time as there are mergers, closures and launches of new titles and categories too, but at the time of writing that includes (with examples of their publications):

Future (MacFormat, PC Gamer - here's a full list)

Bauer UK (Empire, Grazia, Kerrang! - audience finder; case studies)

Conde Nast Britain (Vogue, GQ - here's the GQ Media Pack)

DC Thomson (WWE Kids Magazine, Shout - Shout [girls mag] Media Pack - scroll to the bottom of main site for full list of titles)

Dennis Publishing (Cyclist, Cross Stitcher, PC Pro)

Haymarket Media Group (Autocar, FourFourTwo, Senior Living)

Hearst Magazines UK (Good Living, Hello, Cosmopolitan, Inside Soap - rate card for Elle)

Time Inc. UK (NME, Golf Monthly, Yachting World, Women's Weekly)

Find more magazines by using online shops such as this.