Friday, 10 December 2010

Costumes & Props

Within a music video, costume and props are vital in attracting the audiences attention and making the video appear professional. Within my music video, the majority of the costumes will be simple and easy to get hold of, but should give a professional look.

The band;
The band will be wearing skinny jeans in the music video. This clothing style is typical of an indie ban
d, as Green Day and Biffy Clyro also share this clothing style, and are both of the same genre. In order to make the band stand out from the backers and the main character, we will ensure the band wear black skinnies, so that they look like a group.

The Scarecrow;
The scarecrow will be wearing denim dungarees on top of old fashioned clothing, such as ripped


The cast for our music video will consist of the following;

For the band, we will be using three males; one as the singer, one as the guitar player and one as the drummer. However, due to the constant change in locations throughout the music video, we will not be using instruments throughout, so the audience can only assume that the three characters are band members, as only the singer will be lip syncing throughout the video. However, the band will be known as they will be introduced in the artwork of the digipack.

As this character is the protagonist of the video, it will also be the most remembered and the most iconic, due to its entropic role throughout. For this role, we will be using Will Tyler, as we believe he will make a good scarecrow, both acting and physically.

We will be using a handful (4-8) of backing dancers who will enter during the most uplifting time of the song to add a further lift to the mood and atmosphere.

Location Shots

As planned, me and my partner went out and took photos of possible location shots for our music video. We did this so we could compare and see where would be the best place to set and film our music video.

Time Planning

Me and my partner have sat down and discussed when we are going to do different tasks within the planning task leading up to the music video.
This is our time plan.


Me and my partner produced a pitch to show the concept of our music video, rough ideas such as cast and locations etc. This is our pitch;

Friday, 3 December 2010

Technology Skills & Aims

Since the start of the week, I have learnt a lot about technology and different programmes which I will be using for my music video and production work. Due to my inexperience with these programmes such as Photoshop, I thought this was a good place to start to develop my technology skills. I knew that effects such as airbrushing and reduplicating images would all be useful when creating my digipack and advert. I also wished to learn to fade and layer images but due to the lack of time available, this is something I will have to learn whilst/if I use these effects in my production work.

I was motivated to develop these specific technical skills because I knew they would be useful when creating my production work. After doing some research into digipacks, I noticed that many use special effects for the front cover, and wished to reflect this on my digipack. In order to this successfully, I needed to look at the different effects which were available on the programmes such as Photoshop. This has been my main motivation to develop my technical skills this week, as the majority of the effects available are new to me, so it's like starting from the very start when it comes to the effects for my work; making me keen to learn.

Another reason for my motivation is the relationship between technical skills and creativity. For example, I believe for a printed piece, such as a digipack and advert, technical skills are vital in order to create a creative piece of work. Without decent technical skills, the production work, I believe, will consist of redundant images, whether it be photographs or cartoon/drawn images. I believe the creativity and entropy lies within the technical skills

do you develop skills differently now compared with when you first started on the course?
how did media professionals develop the skills they needed to get on?
how do uni students develop technical skills?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Technological Skills

This week, I am going to be working on my technological skills, which I will be improving for the coursework; whether it be music video or production work. For example, one of my main flaws which I will be needing for this coursework is my inability to use Photoshop. I will be needing this programme for my production work, as I will be editing photographs taken for my advert and my CD Digipack. Specifically, I will be improving and learning to airbrush photographs to give specific looks. For example, my band will be airbrushed in order to give a professional look to the image; making them appear flawless. My protagonist however, the scarecrow, will be airbrushed in to different ways; one to look evil; so I'll be messing around with the different effects on Photoshop this week to find the many ways of making someone look scary. The other

Friday, 26 November 2010

Creative Tasks

This week I have been creating my animated storyboard for my music video. This includes drawing out a shot to shot plan of what exactly will be happening throughout the music video, which helped me even further with my own understanding of what I wish to happen, the types of shots I will capture, and gave me an understanding of how long the video will take to film. This task helped me develop my creativity skills as it gave me the opportunity to think up a sequence of entropic and unusual ideas to make the video interesting and to engage my target audience. These ideas came from a mixture of two things; what I have already seen and how I wish to see things. For example, during my bus journey to and from college in the morning, I travel past many different sights including fields and smaller villages. This is where my original idea for location came from, as it connotes freedom, which I believe reflects my chosen song What's Going On; as it is the freedom to chose what is going on.

I also travel during the sunrise and return during sunset. Whilst seeing this when travelling, I thought it would be a good idea to use in the music video, as it sets the scene well and also reflects the song theme of confusion, as days can go by without a person understanding a situation etc. completely. After deciding on this idea, I remembered I had already seen this happen in a music video but sped up to save time and interest the audience. This video (Keith Urban's I Told You So; ) is what I will be keeping in mind when filming the beginning and the end of my own video, as it is an example of a successful beginning and end to a music video.

The rest of the ideas for my music video came from a discussion of random ideas from my partner. For example, when first hearing the chosen song, synaesthesia helped me think of a desert style location. However, due to the country we live in and the lack of deserts here, the idea of a corn field sprung up. However, due to the time of the year we will be filming this location was not possible. Instead, me and my partner settled for a long grassed field, which gives off the same look as the cornfield would have done. With the theme of confusion and entropy in mind, we started thinking of ways to attract our target audience for the video, and came up with the scarecrow idea. We believe this reflects the song and interests the audience at the same time.

To continue with the creative week, I will be using these ideas to get some photographs for my print production work over the weekend.

Sir Ken Robinson however, once stated that less and less people are creative as people are becoming scared to make mistakes. He claimed that creativity is the process of not being scared to try new things and make mistakes. To some extent I agree with this idea, because if you are not going to take the chance, there is very little you can do without it becoming redundant and boring.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Music Video Genre - Performance

After analysing many music videos, I have realised that nearly all modern music videos can typically be placed in to one (or possibly more) of the same genres. For example, a performance by the artist is typically seen within the music video, whether it be live or in front of a green sheet and then edited. Some music videos contain only artist performances whereas others contain performances at a certain point within the video, for example the end. Stone Sour's 'Made Of Scars' is an example of a music video consisting of a performance throughout;

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A more unusual example of this is Stone Sours' 'Say You'll Haunt Me'. This music video is high in entropic features as we do not see the band performance, but a ghostly version of the performance, as they are played in front of each band member. This emphasises the redundancy of the performance genre throughout modern music videos. I will bear this in mind when producing my own music video, as it is clearly a common way of producing a successful music video.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Pitch Feedback

Me and my partner pitched our idea to a group of people in the same age group as our target audience to see whether they believe our concept and idea would attract this audience. The feedback we got was surprisingly positive which made us believe we were addressing the correct audience.

The majority of the feedback emphasised this as our group claimed the target audience we were hoping to address was suitable for the genre we are using for the video. They also said our concept for the music video would address this audience well which I was happy about, as we got feedback saying it reminded them of Green Day and You Me At Six, which was the same target audience we were hoping to attract, suggesting we were aiming at the correct audience. One criticism we did get however, claimed that we were using very mainstream bands for our influences despite our song being indie. However, the ideas of the music video were collaborative of mainstream bands, such as Green Day's 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' and Nickelback's 'Photograph', but also less known mainstream artists such as Keith Urban's 'I Told You So' and 'Somebody Like You', which I believe all target the same audience despite the different genres.

Because our genre is indie, when planning the ideas for the music video, we wished to make it slightly entropic in order to attract our audience and make it stand out against other videos within the same genre. This is where the scarecrow protagonist came from. The feedback we received from our pitch suggested they 'liked the idea of the scarecrow coming to life'- which I believe will give the music video an entropic feel. Within our feedback one person claimed the idea was not very original because the ideas and concepts came from mainstream bands such as Green Day. However, it is only the locations which came from these bands, and even then they have been altered and changed due to the season which we will be filming, not the ideas.

The rest of the feedback suggested they believed the idea of the music video is exciting but also achievable, for example, one person said "REALLY like the song, I'm excited to see it", and another person claimed "I like the song and I think it will work well within the ideas they have."

One person however brought up the interesting question as to whether the idea will be serious or comedic. Me and my partner discussed this and due to the difference in humour between individuals, we're going to keep it a fun-serious type of video, as if the humour differs between each person, some individuals may dislike the video completely. Despite not focussing on the comedic side of the video, we will include some comedic gestures throughout the video, to add entropy and to keep the audience entertained.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Genre & Music Video

In order to produce a successful music video, it needs to be easy to recognise and categorise in to a particular genre. In order to do this,

attract correct audience.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


In order to produce a successful music video, it needs to be easy to recognise and categorise in to a particular genre. In order to do this, the music video needs to contain recognisable features to place it in to the suitable genre category. For example, pop music videos will contain plenty of lighting, bright colours (whether it be mise-en-scene or costumes, or often, both, simple cinematography (usually straight edits and cuts, and often filmed from the tripod to ensure 'easy' viewing) etc.

This is because pop music videos are often aimed at teenagers, and often females. Stereotypically, teenagers, especially females, are known for having a short attention span (57% of US teens and rising- source; so simple music videos would be successful in attracting the target audience's attention.

By containing these micro features within the music video, it ensures the artist attracts the correct target audience to the video and therefore; the rest of the album by that particular artist.

Examples of pop music videos include;

This music video is simply produced, despite it being a maintstream band. The band members are wearing bright clothing, and are shot in mainly close ups and long shots, emphasising the simple cinematagraphy. The music video contains no real storyline either, and only shows the band members arriving on to location and dancing.This sugegsts further that the target audience of female teenagers are entertained by simplicity, making this music video successful.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Music Video Genre Cont'd

Other commonly used genres for music videos include animated videos. An example of this is Avenged Sevenfold's 'A Little Piece Of Heaven'


This type of music video is fairly entropic and gives the artist more freedom and creativity to the video as ideas which may not be possible by using actors may be drawn up and used in animated music videos; the killing sequence within this music video for example.

Horror music videos are also becoming more popular in todays music videos. These are also known by 'Apocalyptic' videos. An example of this is Cannibal Corpse 'Death Walking Terror' These videos are easy to recognise, as they contain horrific elements, such as blood, gore and violence. Videos within this genre tend to be redundant as they are all based on this elements, but entropic as they find unusual ways of portraying the violence involved within the video.

Comedic music videos are also popular with modern music. Tenacious D's 'Tribute' is an example of a modern day comedic music video, and it also contains entropic elements to create such an unusual and funny video (for example, the idea of a devil only 'eating their souls if they dont sing 'the best song in the world' is rather unusual).
Behind the scenes and tour videos are becoming more popular also as they are economically cheap and simple to produce. An example of this is 30 Seconds To Mars' 'Into The Wild'. These music videos are successful as fans are often interested in seeing their favourite bands backstage and their live perfomances, especially if they have recently been to the concert where it has been recorded, to see if they made it on to the video. Live perfromances also show the bands' energy which would attract the fans to watch them live.

Other music video genres include hybrid genres (narrative and performance for example), dancing, dis-jointed, illogical, classic, low budget, soundtrack/film, sexually available, emotional, parody and montage.

Genre Conclusion

To conclude, the most common genre for music videos is performance and narrative. Because of this, within my music video I will also be using this hybrid genre to ensure it attracts the correct target audience.

Music Video Genre - Narrative

Another common genre for music videos are narrative videos. These types of videos tell a story throughout the music video, which can be, but not always, based on the lyrics of the song, or often not connected to the lyrics at all. Often, it is the artist or band members that act throughout the music video, as the audience are able to conenct with them more as they would already feel like they know the band, especially if they are a long term fan, making the music video even more successful. However, often actors are used within music video as the band are performing.
Narrative music videos are rather common modernly, and an example of an only narrative music video is Slipknot's 'Snuff';

Redundancy & Entropy 4


Redundant Features

-The theme for the music video is love.

-Introduction to the video & opening credits (Slipknot presents... 16 secs).

-Sexulisation of females.

-Flashbacks used to tell story- not in chronological order.

Entropic Features

-Unusual twist in narrative; male protagonist dressed as a female.

-Violence is displayed (cutting hand with glass).

-Crime- breaking in to home.

-Pause in music to show flashbacks.

-Owner whistles & continues as if nothing happened- crime ignored.

Redundancy & Entropy 3

Papa Roach- I Almost Told You That I Loved You

This song also contains both Redundant and Entropic features, but focuses mainly on the Entropic.

Redundant Features

- Sexulisation of females (costumes- bikini's etc)

- Band Performance

Entropic Features

- Homosexuals kissing.

- Dark, Gritty setting - set in a basement.

-Gruesome effects used - man hung up by skin.

-Animal masks used to create an unsettling atmosphere- dogs,rabbits etc.

-Selfish sense- men with money (0:17 secs), lovers (0.19 secs) etc.

-Exaggeration of the way the drums are being played (2;06)

-Unhappy ending.

Redundancy & Entropy 2

Shinedown - Sound Of Madness

This music video also contains both Redundant and Entropic features throughout.

Redundant Features

-The video constists of a band performance throughout.

-The music video contains a happy ending; the kid gets saved and taken back home.

-The video contains an 'the end' title.

Entropic Features

-The music video is based on real life situations- (child abduction).

-Make up on the male band members.

-Low key lighting is used giving it a dark look.

- Flashbacks used to tell the story.

-Story not told in chronological order.

-Violent hand gestures used- gun.


Redundancy & Entropy 1

Keith Urban- Til Summer Comes Around

This music video contains both Redundant and Entropic features throughout.

Redundant Features

-The music video is about love; a couple in love.

- The music video is shot during sunset, which is typical of a romantic song.

- The video is shot on the beach/seaside which is a sign of love.

- The male gives the female a pendant, as a sign of love.

- The clothing of the pair is average of their age.

- Contains a performance and a narrative.

Entropic Features

-The video is shot in a cornfield and carnival.

- The beach is cold, suggested by the artist (Keith Urban)'s coat.

- The video has an unhappy ending; the couple end up alone.

- The male protagonist ends up keeping the pendandt as a reminder, despite it being given to her.

Redundancy & Entropy Introduction

Redundancy is "that which is predictable or conventional in a message... the high result of predictability." (Wikipedia).

In music videos, redundancy can be found when a music video is conventional and predictable; the director and/or artist will do very little to make the music video different from others already out there by other artists. If this continues, eventually all music videos will end up the same and will all become boring and predictable to the audience. As modern music videos are used as marketing devices, directors and artists will want to find something to make the video stand out and to attract the audience to the video, and hopefully buy the whole album by the artist. For this, a music video needs to be entropic too.

Entropy is a text that contains "unpredictable elements". (Wikipedia).

Although audiences wish to see some similar features in music videos so that they can categorise it in to a certain genre, audiences also like to see a "repetition of difference" (Hal Hartley). This means a music video will have to stand out from others within that genre in order to get the audience's attention. To do this, a music video will often contain entropic and unusual elements, which are unexpected within that genre to attract the attention of the audience. Entropic features can vary depending on the genre of music the video belongs to, but can be almost anything unexpected.

A good example of this is Lady GaGa's music video for 'Telephone'

This music video contains both redundant and entropic features.

The redundant features include fighting in prison, masculine females in prison, sexualised women, the shared hatred for the new arrival in prison (GaGa) etc.

The entropic features of the video include the costumes of the characters, the backwards rolling of the credits at the end of the video, the dancing style used by GaGa & Beyonce, and the fact they dance after murdering.

To conclude, this music video would be successful in attracting the target audience to the watching the music video, as it contains a 'Repetition of Difference', by including redundant & entropic features within it.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Music Video Remake.

After attempting to direct actors to lip sync to a song, I re-created the first 50 seconds of an existing music video- Busted's That's What I Go To School For.

This is the Finished Music Video;

Friday, 10 September 2010

Video Skills Audit

The five skills I believe I need to develop further to achieve a high grade in the video coursework are Creativity and Originality, Research, Actors, Performers and Models, Camera Skills and Editing. Together, I believe these skills, if developed to a high standard, will create a good graded music video.

Creativity and Originality.

The majority of my ideas come from existing products, and altered (sometimes drastically to ensure they are different) to the criteria and my personal liking. An example of this would be my Metal magazine from the AS year. An exterior image within this magazine included my model stood up on a wall outside. Previously, I had seen images in Metal magazines of exterior images with rain, snow, thunder and lightening added behind the model to make it look more 'metal' and 'hardcore'. I decided the lightening idea did indeed make my article look more 'metal'. Although this is using real media conventions within my magazine, it also emphasises that I get my ideas from elsewhere, and change them (I made the colour of the lightening stoke grey, to compliment the exterior dull blue sky) to fit the criteria and my liking.

For my music video, thankfully we will be working in small groups, which means we will have more ideas flowing to add to the creativity of the video. Also, before creating the music video, I will do loads of research of music videos within that genre so I know what is already existing, so I know what to avoid.
Since the AS year, I have found out how important and vital good research is to the overall product. It is always good to see what is already existing, so you know what to avoid when creating your own products. Because of this, I believe this skill is an important one in gaining a good grade at the end of the year. However, within this skill, looking outside the media for inspiration is something I never do, as I never thought it to be important if it is outside the industry. With my upcoming music video, I will ensure I get lots of feedback from people who are not in, or wish to be in this industry, to ensure a varied audience.

When creating my music video, I will thoroughly analyse the genre I am working in, to ensure that I use some generic conventions of that genre, but also to ensure difference within the music video, to keep audience interest.
Actors, Performers and Models.
When creating a music video I realise that actors and models are vital, as it is these that will grab the attention of the audience; whether it be the 'band' performing, or the background actors. To ensure my actors will perform to the best they can, I will ensure that they are well aware as to what they're doing and what I am trying to achieve by them doing this. I hope that this will make the performers aware as to how they should act/perform, to ensure the music video looks as professional as possible. I have already had some experience with actors and models during my Film Studies AS coursework, where I asked my models to pose in certain ways to achieve certain shots. In this case, it was to create a horror movie sequence, but all of my actors knew what they were doing and what I would be using the images for, which I believe allowed them to get in to the mind set of the sequence, which made the images and overall sequence more believable. Because of this, I will ensure my actors know what and why they are doing what they're asked to do for my music video.

Camera Skills.
I believe another important skill to make a good music video is good camera skills, since this is what will capture the performances of the actors and performers. Thankfully, I have had some experience with this, as I re-created the first 50 seconds of Busted's- That's What I Go To School For before this academic year began. As this music video included many different shot types, I was able to test my camera skills when recording. After completing the video, I asked some people to look at the video and give their opinion. The majority of the feedback said that they believed it looked close to the original music video. This gave me some confidence about my own camera skills for when I create my own music video.
The final skill I believe to be important in making a music video is editing. This is because I believe this is what creates meaning, and if the editing isn't invisible, it looks unprofessional. Thanks to my Film AS work, and the re-creation of the music video, I have also had some experience with Adobe Premiere Pro which has helped me get used to the basics of editing videos.
However, during the editing of the first music video, me and my group did not keep the camera recording long enough so we had a jump cut when it came to editing. Although I have learnt from this, attempting to fill in the 3 or 4 seconds which were left blank were a nuisance and in the end, we had to settle for adding a blank tile. This made the video look extremely unprofessional and amateur like.
Thankfully, since then I have learnt some tricks to prevent this from happening next time, such as moving the camera 30 degrees, and/or record much more than needed. For example- in planning, if suggested we record the first 30 seconds of the band performing, we will now record 40 or 50 seconds to ensure we definitely have enough tape to work with. Also, I will allow extra time in planning, to go back and re-record if need be.

To conclude, if I can use all five of this skills when making my music video, I believe it will make a professional looking music video, and keep the audience interested throughout.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Lip Syncing Task

As my coursework is based on a music video which includes many actors and actresses lip syncing to the audio as well as performing, I thought it would be a good idea to collect together a couple of people to lip sync, so that I could get an idea of how hard it is, what I am expecting of them to do in my coursework, and what it is like to direct actors and actresses' to perform in front of a camera. By doing this, it also gives me some practice into using digital equipment (Mini DV Cameras), and the editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro).

After attempting the lip syncing task, I found it rather easy to ask the performers to lip sync to a specific song. However, I believe this is because I used rather confident performers who didn't mind lip syncing, and therefore gave it there all during the recording. During my coursework however, my performers may not be as confident, which will make directing them more tricky.
When it came to editing the music video, we realised that we had cut off the recording a little too early, and the sequences didn't match up as we expected which created a jump cut (0.33secs). To avoid this in the future, I will move the camera and tripod more than 30 degrees, whether it be to the other performer, or to an extract I will cut in to the music video.
Overall, I believe this experience helped me get used to directing performers, using digital techology and editing sequences, and I have learnt how hard it is to create a small music video.
Finished Music Video;