30/06/2010 - 11/11/2010 : Research
15/11/2010 - 16/12/2010 : Planning
15/12/2010 - 11/02/2011 : Production
26/02/2011 -01/03/2011 : Evaluation
This blog is now complete and ready for assessment.
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.
As shown in the Prezi, we were inspired by many metal videos. All of the included videos include an aspect of performance. This is a very common convention of most music videos, but especially metal videos. This element is highly redundant, as it is so frequent in music videos, it has lost any meaning it once had. However, these videos provided ideas for shots and angles to use in our video. For example, the use of extreme close ups within Slipknot's "Before I Forget" led to us also use many close ups of the instruments.
This repetition is explained in Sam Neale's theory towards genre. He says genre is "instances of repetition and difference". This is because without repetition, each video would have to be drastically different, which risks alienating some audiences. However, sticking to conventions without ever attempting to challenge standard forms or conventions risks boring the intended audience. This is why our music video uses people playing Guitar Hero and only imagining they are real musicians. While this is entropic within professional music videos, many fan made videos have already attempted a similar idea, as shown in the Prezi.
Some parts of my music video were filmed using a hand-held camera, as many metal music videos use hand-held cameras, such as August Burns Red's video for the song "White Washed", as shown in the Prezi above. The video also uses very short takes, which inspired me to do the same. This video also played around with the speed of the footage, which led to me using slow motion within my video, although this was partly to help a chosen clip fit better on the timeline.
As I Lay Dying's video for "I Never Wanted" makes frequent use of split screens. I then used a similar post-production visual effect myself, but cropping the footage.
My video conforms to the standard use of cuts to transition from one clip to another, instead of using random transitions. However, I used a plentiful amount of fades and cross-dissolves, which is unusual for fast paced videos.
The mise-en-scene is basic and limited, although videos playing within a messy set is not unheard of, as seen in Blink-182's music video for "First Date", seen in the picture to the right, which although is not an inspiration for the production of my video, it shows how my video does not break common convention.
The costumes were chosen to reflect how bands frequently wear bands t-shirts, as well as to help show who the characters are emulating. Although band members are seen which such t-shirts, they rarely wear these in official music videos, whether that be for legal and copyright reasons or otherwise.
My research of existing music videos within my selected genre led me to find out most music videos are primarily performance based, or featured a basic narrative. It was due to this, as well as early audience feedback that my music video needed more than just performance. This is why the video game aspect was added. This element is entropic, as official music videos have rarely, if ever challenged comparing playing Guitar Hero to learning a real instrument.
Another aspect is how each music genre usually entails different conventions for its video, as to better suit the music. However, he has said that most music videos generally include lots of close ups of the artist/band, as the record label use the artists/bands image as a way of selling their persona.
The treatment of females within music videos still projects them as objects of desire, even within music videos by female artists.
His final point is the existence of intertextual references within music videos are used to provide extra pleasure for the viewers. These references can be from a wide range of sources, such as movies, TV, popular culture, or even other music videos.Sven E Carlsson
He has developed a way of categorizing performers within music videos into 3 different classifications. However, some music videos can cross over into more than one grouping.
The first group is called the "Commercial Exhibitionist". This aspect focuses on the performer attempting to sell them self, which includes their song, personality, lifestyle, morals within the song. It uses their persona as a way of pulling an audience in.
The second category is the "Televised Bard". It is essentially akin to an old fashioned bard, only telling a story though not only song, but the music video aswell. There are several variations on this, as sometimes, the artist merely sings the story, while in other examples, and the artist (or even the entire band) is projected into the story.
The final grouping is the "Electronic Shaman". Primarily, the focus is on the artist’s voice and music, which then combined with the music video, produces a meaning. The sound and content of the video are connected to strengthen the message within the song. The individual meanings of the music and lyrics, aswell as the video are juxtaposed to give a new meaning.
This video uses contradicting imagery, as the song is about a “hero” appearing a saving the day, which the video features just the band playing, along with obscure images such as those in the beginning. The video also conforms to Andrew Goodwin’s theory by using multiple close ups of the lead singer, who is usually considered the main artist within the band.
While it’s difficult to suggest the imagery seen at 0:15 is an exact reference to something, the faceless nature of people wearing suits is a common one, seen in films such as the Matrix.
When applying Sven E Carlsson’s theory to this video, it mainly comes under the “Commercial Exhibitionist” grouping, as the majority of the video features the lead vocalist singing. The weirder features of the video fit into the “Electronic Shaman” category. The “suits”, for lack of a better name, are used in the video as a source of antagonism.Video 2:
Aspects of the video show the band as another example of “Commercial Exhibitionists” due to the high amount of coverage the band receive throughout the video. However, the other shots lend the video aspects of a “televised Bard”, as they show a narrative, despite a very thin one.
The video is contradictive to the lyrics, as the song is not about sumo wrestling. However, the movements of the sumo at the start show the video is illustrative of the music accompanying the lyrics. It shows it may have been chosen as to sync up with the song, and provide a more memorable video. As with the other videos, it features a plentiful amount of close ups of the lead.
The video fits mostly with the “Commercial Exhibitionist” line of thought, as it focuses mainly on the lead singer. As the song can be interpreted as being about drugs, the sumo’s serve to create a crazier world, visually, which suits the morals of the song. The video features very little in terms of narrative, and the imagery doesn’t attempt to produce much of a meaning either.