Monday, 7 March 2011

Conclusion

Please find each section within these dates:

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.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Evaluation Question 4 - How Did You Use Media Technologies in the Construction and Research, Planning and Evaluation Stages?

The use of technology in media studies is vital, as processing the digipak and music video both require technology. Presenting my media coursework is done on Blogger, which is an easy and modern way of allowing people to view my work. If I had an iPhone, or a phone capable of viewing blogger effectively, I would have been able to update my blog from any location easily.
I used Myspace to ask the artist directly for permission to use one of their songs. Without media 2.0, asking for permission would have been extremely difficult and long winded.
By using Facebook during our planning stage, I could easily and quickly get in contact with my partner, as well as find potential actors/models for my music video and digipak. Using facebook also allowed us to share images of any locations we thought would be a good place to
shoot.
To help with the planning of the music video, I used Youtube to view many other music videos within my genre. Music channels such as "Kerrang!" and "Scuzz" were also useful, as they showed music videos within my genre too. However, a site such as Youtube has a vast wealth of videos, all free and ready to access.

For the actual production of the digipak, I used a FujiFilm A345 camera to take still images to use. This is an easy to use camera that still has good quality images. Although obvious, having a camera for the course is vital. I used Adobe Photoshop to then edit and assemble these photos. By using Google, I found a template with the right measurements and spacing ready made. Youtube also helped me here, as the site is full of step by step tutorials for many programs, including Photoshop.
For the production of the music video, I used two Panasonic DV cameras. By using two at the same time, it allowed us to capture the same footage from a different angle, which reduced the number of takes needed. To transfer our footage to a computer, we used Adobe OnLocation. The program has its pros and cons, as although capturing worked for the most part, some clips would corrupt, rendering them useless. This sometimes led to us having to repeat the capturing process to obtain certain clips. For the actual editing, we used Adobe Premiere Pro, which made putting together our video much easier. While it allowed us to edit it how we imagined it, using a new program leads to technological determinism. Which is that whatever
technology is available determines the final outcome, rather than the creativity of the user. I feel this applied somewhat to me video, as the video contained elements we didn't originally plan to
have, such as the black and white footage.
Media 2.0 has been useful throughout the whole course, as it allows anyone to gain some sort of feedback from an audience. By using Youtube, given that I have a fair amount of subscribers, I can use it to tap into a potential audience and ask for criticism. Although most comments are
generally very pedestrian.
In conclusion, the use of media technology, specially Media 2.0 such as sites like Facebook and Youtube which allow users to broadcast to an audience easily. Technology such as digital cameras, even though they used tape which may seem dated by todays standards, have been vital to the whole media course.

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.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Evaluation Question 2 - How Effective is the Combination of your Main Product and Ancillary Texts?


With this video I have visually presented how my overall package compares. So in conclusion, I feel my package could have been better co-ordinated, as my digipak and advert fail to fit well with my music video. Although there are some aesthetic similarities, the overall tone of both do not fit well and lack coherency.
My planning, or possible lack of is a factor into the lack of a house style, as from the start, I planned my digipak cover without thinking how that brand image would translate to my music video.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Evaluation Question 1 - In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop, Or Challenge Forms and Conventions Of Real Media Products


Although Prezi is a great idea for brief information, I feel I should extend my level of analysis in written form.

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.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Our Music Video So far



Here is the current version of our video. We also had afew clips in synced near the end, but it made sense to just leave them out of this for now.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Shot List

We have composed a shot list to help plan the filming of our music video.

Shots we'll need:
Main Footage
Location - Garage
Shots - Group shots, close ups, shots of instruments
Actors - All Band members
Props - All Instruments, band clothing, tattoo sleeves

Guitar hero footage
Location - Living room
Shots - Group Shots, Shots of xbox & plastic instruments
Actors - All band members
Props - Xbox, Guitar hero controllers and mic

woodland shots
Location - Woods
Shots - Individual shots
Actors - All band members
Props - N/A

If any problems arise with scheduling, we can arrange to shoo the individual/close up shots of the band members playing seperately

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Animatic Storyboard



Here is my groups animatic storyboard. It was edited together using Sony Vegas Pro 8, although any video editing software could of performed the task.
While we used alot of repeated shots, it has all the main elements we want our final video to contain. Specific effects may be changed later, such as the flashes, which may be toned down or made slower as the outcome will look different with actual footage instead of drawings.
The amount of cuts may also be reduced, as although the cuts match the beat of the song, the cuts may be too quick. However, by using an animatic storyboard, it allows me to see how the final product may look, even if changes are necessary later on.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Creative Process Pt.2


Here are 2 print screens taken during the video editing process of the animatic. In the first shot, I am adjusting the colour balance to make the picture green, as it is to represent how the lights on the Xbox will glow green in the final video.
The other picture shows how I used markers to show where the beats were in the song, as it makes cutting clips to fit better alot easier.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Finished Digipak and Advert


Here is my finished Digipak and accompanying Advert for "A Faylene Sky"'s faux album release.

I used Adobe Photoshop to edit and arrange my photos.

After the photo shoot, I decided that using a blood effect would look cheap, and not comical which was the original intended idea. However, I kept the shattered glass effect for my advert as I felt the advert needed more than just a picture of the album and text. I kept the colours plain on it so the text could still be read clearly.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

More Locations for our Music Video

Although the room is need tidying up, and moving furniture around, we will use this room as the location of the band, prior to the song.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Creative Process pt1

Here I am showing how after choosing an image to be my front cover, I applied the band logo as well as the album name.
I also added effects to the original image to increase the contrast, to help the bear mask look scarier.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Photo Shoot for Digipak






Here is a handful of the photos I took on my photo shoot in the woods. Although, the flash helped capture everything I wanted to show in the foreground.
After this, I will examine each picture and decide which I will use and where in the digipak or advert they could go.

Actors in Costume




Here are some of the actors I will use for the Video Shoot, in costume.
We specified that they all wear band t-shirts as many bands do in their videos/live performances. We also brought fake tattoo sleeves, to help them look better for the role.

Friday, 10 December 2010

I made this on Photoshop as a practise, using a tutorial on youtube.
Although I used pictures I found on Google, I will later incorporate this effect into my digipak.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Digipak- Shot List

  • Bear attacking the band members
  • Bear Chasing the band members
  • Hand in blood on the floor
  • Woodland area/empty room
  • Band group shot
  • Close up of bear face and tee
  • Shot of Bear actor holding mask and smiling
Each time I take a shot, I will take afew slight variations as back-up, incase the picture is unflattering.

Digipak- Blood Effect on Photoshop


I used this video to help learn how to use photoshop correctly, as my cover will use stylized blood for a comedic effect.
Although my final version will be my chosen shape, this practise attempt was for the blood used in the Watchmen Logo.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Digipak Cover- Ideas/Possible Costumes



My album will be named after one of A Faylene Sky's existing songs "Oh, I'll Show You A Nightmare". My current idea is using someone in a bear outfit, attacking either a Hunter, the band members or Goldilocks. I feel this idea is more entropic than a possible literal meaning of "Break Your Heart".

Bear Costume Ideas:

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Logo for Digipak

Here is my logo for the band for use on the Digipak, aswell as the advert. I kept it simple so people could read it. I used a bright red to help it be eyecatching, aswell as to differentiate the two words. At first I made the "sky" white, but using both black and white text makes choosing a background that will allow both words to be read difficult. Depending on the background colour I ultimately use, the colours may change though.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Digital Technology

I failed to properly meet my targets, as out of all of them, I only tried experimenting with Adobe After Effects. That said, I'm still not confident with the program, and would need alot more practise to use the it correct.
Over the weekend, I will practise with Photoshop at home, using tutorials on sites such as Youtube to learn specific effects. Hopefully, this will give me some inspiration as well.

What Motivates you to develop specific technical skills?
I believe most skills come from the need to solve a certain problem, such as requiring a specific effect on Photoshop, or learning how to upload files to a site such as Youtube. In this day and age, it is also vital people learn how to use digital technology, especially in media related areas.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Digipak Ideas


After finding a template on Google, I then began to look for inspiration in existing digipaks, specifically the way each panel is used, and how they differentiate how normal CD cases.

Although digipaks are frequently used as special editions, the front and back cover are usually the same or similar to a CD cover. The
inside
then usually follows the pattern or
design of the front cover.

Practise Shoot



We chose to shoot a practise shoot to find out how difficult it would be. We learnt that the batteries in cameras don't last too long.
We also learnt how difficult it is to organise people at the shoot. The actors grew tired of repeating the same song but from different angles, so we may have to practise with the song with the group prior to the real shoot.
We did however find it a fun and new experience.

Monday, 29 November 2010

My Targets for Improving with Digital Technology

My three targets over this week are:
  • Practise in Adobe After Effects. Learning the basics such as the timeline, and the differences between other video editing software.
  • I also want to experiment more with the multitude of effects and renders in Photoshop, as I feel I know very little about bar the basics.
  • Practising and trying out the different manual effects a digital video camera can do is my third target, as previously, I have just used the automatic settings.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Creativity Pt.3

About Creativity:
Sir Ken Robinson said we start as a child with creativity, as children are not scared of being wrong, they are willing to take creative risks. However, as we grow up, we become scared to be wrong, possibly due to our education system only rewarding right answers.
Overall, he said we lose creativity as we grow up.

Understanding Creativity:
Creativity comes from experiences in life, be it through day to day life, media such as films, music, magazines. It also comes from research solely for the purpose of inspiration. The way we interact with the world, and how it shapes us as a person will be reflected in the amount, or way we use creativity.

My Creative Process:
Although thinking creatively is abstract, it is clear from my animatic storyboard that my research into metal music videos has played a big part in the way each shot is used. Without researching into music videos, the animatic storyboard would have lacked the detail into specific shot types. It also would have lacked ideas, such as the use of split screens.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Creativity Pt.2


In an attempt to expand my creativity, I started making an animatic using hand drawn images and sequencing them in roughly the same way we intend to shoot our final video.
By using Sony Vegas Pro 8, I could animate these drawings a small degree, or add effects to help visualise our plan.
I would then show the video as it was made to my group for feedback, so that the storyboard reflects both people's ideas.
I added partial animation to some shots, to make the animatic more attention grabbing, and more useful as a tool to see how a final video might look.

I also edited part of our practise shoot in Adobe Premiere.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Creativity

Our idea lacked creativity, so we expanded upon it and added more creative ideas. These ideas came organically about while planned the video, such as using Guitar Hero to contrast with the seriousness of most generic metal music videos, and to make it comical.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Time Plan


This is a time plan for the weeks up until Christmas, I can add to this plan over the weeks to help me plan my time effectively.
As we are working in pairs, it is essential we share a calendar to help arrange our workload. We originally used Microsoft Outlook to share our plans, then typed these up onto Word for clarity.

Proof


Here's the permission from the band allowing us to use there song for our video.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Our Pitch

Pitch

Feedback:
Suitability of Target Audience:
  • Mixed Responses
  • Majority of feedback found it suitable
Comments on Originality:
  • people seemed to find our idea unoriginal and with large amounts of redundancy, which to an extent it was
  • we need to come up with something slightly more entropic and original for our final video

Comments on Logistics:
  • people found our logistics well thought through

Comments on technical aspects:
  • our feedback told us that our idea is achievable
Realism:
  • people found our concepts realistic achievable and within budget
Overall:
  • our ideas were found as simple and fairly unexciting
  • other comments; achievable, in budget, needs more, bit more planning ideas



we need to build on our idea to make it better and deeper, we need to add more ideas and concepts to our video to make it more exciting and engaging.
we should maintain the achievable-ness of our idea but make it more ambitious

Targets:
  • recreate our video as more creative and exciting
  • maintain the good aspects of our ideas while improving them

Friday, 15 October 2010

History of Digipaks

Digipak was originally patented as a new style of CD or DVD packaging by AGI Media. In 2000, the digipak design was licensed out the music companies around the world.
Digipaks usually consist of a CD along with bonus material on another disc, be it unreleased material, live footage, music videos etc. Digipaks are akin to special or limited editions.

Digipaks are becoming the more environmentally friendly alternate to CDs, while still using traditional means, as in not compared to downloads. By using recycled card, as opposed to the plastic in CD cases, they have grown in popularity since the early 2000's.

Audience Recognition



I will make sure my audience can easily recognise the genre by sticking to current genre conventions. Within the metal/rock genre, these conventions generally are having the band look aggressive or powerful, use of black as a background, the image of the actual band, such as instruments, long hair etc.
Within a music video, these conventions also include low angles, rapid but well timed cuts, close ups of the lead singer(s). Shots of the band jumping around playing energeticly is also a common feature. These common features of the metal genre are a part of Andrew Goodwins theory, that every genre has its own conventions.
The target audience will easily see these conventions and know the genre instantly.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Music Video Theorists

Andrew Goodwin

Andrew Goodwin’s theory deconstructs how music video are created and given meaning. He has created a list of characteristics that separate Music Video from other media types, such as film or TV. The main point is the relationship between the music and lyrics, and the visual content of the video. The content can then fit into one of three categories. It can illustrate, amplify, or contradict the lyrics/music.

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.

Sources:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/21443985/Andrew-Goodwin-and-Laura-Mulvey-Music-Video-Feature-Notes
http://filmsound.org/what_is_music_video/


Although examples are lacking here, I will use this information in my analysis of music videos in other blog posts.

History Of Music Videos

History of music videos
View more presentations from Andy Harris.

Presentation made by me based off this source:
http://www.articlesbase.com/art-and-entertainment-articles/what-is-the-history-behind-music-videos-1318869.html

Friday, 1 October 2010

Representation of Lead Singers


Here is a video made by me to help show how lead singers are presented as the main band member, which will have to follow into my video.

Extra Analysis:

Video 1:

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:

According to Andrew Goodwin’s theory, the music video would be amplifying the song content. Although rather abstract, it fits the mood and theme of the song. The video also adds a more mystical, or creepy element to the song. Again, close ups are featured predominantly through the video, as is the norm for musicians.

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.

Video 3:

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.