Saturday, 31 December 2011

RS - Muse's Profile in 2011

2011 was a quiet year for Muse as Band. They had finished touring for "The Resistance" and only had 17 live appearances throughout the year. The reason for this was because they were intending to start recording for most of the year and run the recording into 2012 hoping to finish some time at the start of the year.
They had intended to have a break for most of the year due to touring/recording pretty much non stop since they first started touring in 1999 and wanted to have a more laid back lifestyle they had desired for so long. The fact that they built their own recording studio for The Resistance and were due to record there again with the following album meant that they could have a more laid back style to it and not have to rush it if they were hiring out a studio like the previous albums.
NME Awards 2011
The start of the year consisted of a short South American Tour and a few dates in Europe. The awards season began at the start of the year and Muse walked away with a Grammy, an NME Award and an Ivor Novello Award. (See full list of awards here
Reading Festival 2011
The summer brought the Summer Festivals and the main appearences for Muse throughout the year with 6/17 appearences in August. They started off touring the Festivals in the US and then finishing off the summer and the whole year by headlining Reading & Leeds for the second time and being voted the best performance of the two festivals.
In the Recording Studio

The end of a fairly quiet year saw Muse returning to the studio later than expected in the year and announce that the new album wont land until some time in October 2012 a bit later than expected. Not much information about the album has been released as of yet.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

ALL - Storyboards

Here are our storyboards that i have scanned in today that confirm our full idea. We still have the flexibility to change around with some ideas but this is the general order of shots and narrative/performance footage. We have filmed a couple of scenes including the ones in the 'Muse Nerds' living room and bedroom and also played around with some shots at the River Wharfe and the skate park. Performance and school footage are in the pipeline for over the Chrismas period and early in January when we return to school. Our Animatic will be completed soon as we have nearly finished editing it on the MAC using iMovie so that will be up soon.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

ALL - Deconstruction of Lyrics Sheet

Here is our lyrics sheet which we printed off in our media lesson today. We grouped together and went through the timings of the lyrics with our storyboards and went through an initial plan of whats going to be on screen at certain times in the song.

Monday, 5 December 2011

RS - Feedback on our Second Sample Footage

Once we had finished editing our second sample footage for our music video we gave the exported file to our Media Teacher so he could upload it to Youtube. Once it had been uploaded we gathered all the students within the class together around the middle and screened our second sample footage to them. Once the screening had finished we had time to ask them any questions or for them to ask us any questions and this is what we recieved.
  • Try not to show the face of the protagonist straight away (to keep narrative enigma)
  • Create a CD/DVD print to put onto a blank CD with the name of our track + band on it to show to the audience.
  • Try to time to poster "montage" shots with the music
  • Instead of having copyrighted material being played on the TV have our performance footage played on it instead.
  • Have CU's on the phone so it's easier to read and either speed up the footage or shorten the sequence down a couple of menus to save time
  • Having the "Sony" branding in the frame could be seen as a viral advert
  • Have the protagnoist using the QR code app on his phone whilst looking at our Digipak we will be making to help promote it.
  • Have our magazine advert on one of the pages when the protagonist is reading it
  • Make the collage of magazines more subtle not just in a big group on the floor
  • Use multi-layering within the video so we can fit more footage into the sequence
  • Have photos of the protagonist alone in various locations so it isolates him from everyone even more
  • Redo some of the shots with the low-lighting and test on the day to see if lighting is suitable if not then use external light source
  • First see the persons face when he puts the magazine down
  • Try out with having shots without showing his face at all perhaphs for the entire music video and then get feedback from it all to see if it works!
  • Have the protag looking through his wardrobe however the clothes are very unusual and makes him seem more of an outsider to the rest
  • Look at Napoleon Dynamite for influence

We also recieved feedback from a past A2 student, Chris Lawrence!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

RS - Further Influences From Film and Other Music Videos

The Breakfast Club (1985, John Hughes). This opening sequence is very useful to us due to the location the film is set in. It gives us a better understanding of how we would set up the shots.
Unfortunatley this clip has been mirrored so that it wouldn't be removed from Youtube however it's only the titles that are an issue to read.
Here are a few examples of music videos using high school locations within their videos. Most of these music videos are within our genre so it shows that the genre uses this location often and that it creates a good music video.
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Pearl Jam - Jeremy

Aerosmith - Livin' On The Edge

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall

Van Halen - Hot For Teacher

Escape the Fate - Situations (An obvious reference to Hot For Teacher but with a twist!)

ALL - Inspiration from Film + Other Music Videos

Today as a group we all looked at the film opening for Trick or Treat (1986, Charles Martin Smith) and we found it very useful as it is very similar to our idea with the main character being seen as distant from the other students at school. We won't use all of the aspects within the Trick or Treat opening such as the nudity and some of the other shots however we do want a similar effect showing the protagonist distant from the others and not fitting in because of him liking a certain band similar to this. We want to use a similar panning technique they use in the bedroom scene where it is moving across all the different bands posters/accessories as it works really well and is achieveable by us. It's like a short montage which we could take inspiration from.

The sequence at the start with the protagonist in his bedroom is useful because of the use of mise en scene within the room. From the music posters to the calendars and even the books on the shelves have references to bands and show what his hobbies/interests are. We want to do a similar thing in our music video so using this as a reference is helpful. 

Here is the entire opening sequence to the film:

We also took inspiration from certain music videos including

We only want to use certain aspects from within these music videos so we wont go to the extreams of creating a werewolf etc however we do want to have similar shots like in these videos within our video. We are only taking inspiration from them not copying them.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

RS - Track/Artist Record Label

Origin of Symmetry along with two other Muse albums was released by "Taste Media". Taste Media is a very small indie record label formed in Cornwall. Muse only stayed with them because they were also small and unknown at the time and could not get a deal with one of the big 4. However when Absolution (2003) was released by Taste Media and Muse started to get more into the mainstream scene they departed with Taste Media and formed their own record label named Helium 3 which is now a subdivision of Warner Music Group (one of the big 4 record labels). Muse are still releasing content from the Helium 3 record label.

RS - A Brief History of Music Video

The 1980s saw music videos become a more popualar form of media after the release of the channel MTV. The first music video MTV broadcasted was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. Although this was not the first station to show music videos the first one was BBC. The long-running British TV show Top of the Pops began playing music videos in the late 1970s, this meant a good video would increase a song's sales as viewers hoped to see it again the following week.

Music videos have been previously know as talkies, Screen Songs, Promotional clips and Musical films. Although modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of the accompanying single and album.

During the 2000s lo-fi videos started being made. Lo-fi is made with minimal budgets and not much shot variation, such as Yellow by Coldplay. The most common lo-fi music video is called a one-shot where the entire video is one shot. The reason for these types of music video becoming what it is known for today was due to the shift towards internet broadcasting and a rise in popularity for user-generated video sites with YouTube being the leader in the market.
Youtube is now the main way people watch music videos now due to it's ease of use and the ability to be able to watch any video you want and however many times you want without a video you hate being on. Some music videos have over half a billion views (Justin Bieber's "Baby"with 666 million views today, we all knew he was the devil!).


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

WS - Sample Footage 2 and our Second Vodcast

As school was closed yesterday, we thought it would be a good opportunity to attempt some more sample footage and take advantage of this by also making our new Vodcast in a different setting to where we normally would.

Due to changes in our idea following our first edition of sample footage, we needed more footage to reflect what we now want to include. Sample Footage One showed the main character been bullied around Ilkley (the town where some of our video will be filmed). This is still part of our idea, although we are going to try and represent the character as isolated and rejected by a number of people rather than just a couple of people bullying him. This isolation extends to his family and his home-life, which is where this second edition of sample footage comes in.

We filmed the footage at Rob's house and this is a planned setting for part of our music video. The shots we have taken were supposed to make the character look isolated and alone, but with a real love for Muse and their music. We attempted this through the mise-en-scene, but also through the framing of shots. Posters, magazines and DVD's make up most of how we are trying to portray the character as a 'Muse nerd', but the framing of the shot and positioning of everything within the shot is vital to making him look like a 'loner'.

We filmed quite a large range of shots yesterday which has allowed us quite a lot of freedom when editing the sample footage to 'play about' with it and try and find things that may work for the actual music video. An example of this is showing the character selecting our chosen song on the iPod and turning the volume up to full. This is when we plan to introduce the song to the video. The whole idea for this came about while we were filming which emphasises the importance of practice filming and sample footage.

In total we recorded around twenty-five minutes of sample footage, the majority of which will probably not be used but we felt it is always good to experiment with footage. We will have to await feedback to see what fellow students (people who will be within our primary target audience) think and see what improvements they can suggest.

As well as sample footage, we felt it seemed like a good time to make a vodcast. We decided to do this to keep the Vodcasts different, and the fact that we could film it in a setting where the music video will take place seemed like a good idea.

The Sample footage and the second vodcast will be evidenced on our blogs when we have finished editing them.

Friday, 25 November 2011

RS - School Closures

Today (Friday 25th) the school will be closed for Review Day. Our Media Teacher will be in during that time so it is possible to come in during the day and catch up with work over that period. 

Next Monday (28th) school will be closed again due to Jubilee Day however school will be completely closed so there will be no opportunity to work in school at all.

And finally next Wednesday (30th) the school will be closed again due to the teachers going on strike which means the entire school will be closed so once again we will not be able to get into school to do work.

On all of these days we (Swillob Productions) expect to do relevant blogging as well as catching up on a Vodcast on Monday as well as more sample footage which will then be screened to the class for further feedback. We have also booked out "Trick or Treat" (1986, Charles Smith) to look at the opening sequence for inspiration for our coursework idea and "U2-18videos" to do research on directors in music videos.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

SP - Feedback on our First Sample Footage

Today we finished editing our first peice of sample footage that we filmed at the weekend. We exported it and gave it to our Media Teacher so he could screen it in front of the class. Once they had watched our footage we listened to any feedback our class mates had to give. Our Media Teacher also gave his thoughts on our progress and this is what they all had to say: 

  1. The major point that came up frequently was regarding our acting. In our first sample footage our class mate thought that our idea meant that it might be quite difficult to act in. This was highlighted in our footage because people thought that it made our music video look unproffesional. This was not our intention so we had to change our idea slightly which meant there was less acting involved. 
  2. What people suggested was that instead of having a particular social group we should have individual people picking on this 'Muse nerd' at different locations. Another thing that we are considering is instead of this particular person being bullied like he was in our first sample footage, he should be isolated from everyone else. He is going to be left out from what everyone else is doing just because he likes Muse so much. 
  3. Another location we will be able to use with this changed idea is this 'Muse nerd' is that persons house. We will be able to shoot in the teenagers bedroom and in the living room of the house. We will be able to show how he is becoming isolated from his own family as well as people at school and around town. We will also be able to show this 'Muse nerds' obsession with the band by having shots of posters, magazines, CD's / DVD's, clothing and on a computer with iTunes etc. There is alot more scope with this new idea to really exaggerate how much this teenage adores Muse. 
  4. However the good thing about this changed idea is that we can still use all of the locations we were going to with the original idea. We can still film at school as there are a few places we intend to use including in the 6th Form Centre, in an empty coridoor, by the 'Muse nerds' locker and on a lonely table. We can also film in Ilkley town centre by the river and skate park as we have just done in our first sample footage but just slightly change what are going to happen in these locations. 

Once we have a firm idea of what we want to film we will shoot some more sample footage and repeat the feedback process. We will edit, export and upload to YouTube and again use the class to give us some more suggestions on our changes. 

    Tuesday, 22 November 2011

    ALL - Sample Footage Number One

    On Sunday we recorded a sample version of a scene which will be featured in our music video for our media coursework. Unfortunatley most of the footage was unusable due to the Macs at school not reading the footage properly and causing huge pauses. However with it only being sample footage we gathered all we could and assembled it together to end up with this. We did not need the actual cast/props/clothing for this task because it was just to give a sense of what will be expected to happen in the video.

    Monday, 21 November 2011

    SP - The New Idea

    After our re-pitch on Friday we have gained some vital feedback from not only our Media teacher but also our class mates. We have decided that our original idea will be quite difficult to film and to act in. We would need to use some very experienced actors/actresses to make our music video look to a good standard. Otherwise, as we had planned to, when we were to act in it we might of made it look quite unproffesional. This meant we had to change our idea in some way or another to make sure we knew exactly how we could film it and that we could actually act in it.

    After we had gained this information we asked our class mates how we could change our idea, not drastically, to make it better. Here our the ideas that our Media teacher, our class mates and ourselves came up with:

    1. The main change to our idea is that the focus will be on a 'Muse nerd' who is being bullied by a social group. This 'nerd' will not be trying to get in to this social group like our original idea but he will be getting grief from a very popular group of three instead. 
    2. Another advantage from our feedback is that we now have an idea for our ending to the music video. Having all watched some coursework music videos from lasy year, our class mates recommended we took inspiration from the 'Joy Division' video by Colborne Joel, Moreman Callum and Jonny Hughes. Their ending involved their main character contemplating suicide and this sort of idea would definately woek for our music video aswell. 
    3. The good thing is that we will be able to use all of the same locations as our original idea but just flip the idea so the 'Muse nerd' will be getting bullied instead of him trying to become one of the group members. This means we will still be filming all of our music video in an around Ilkley.
    4. We will still be using the same band 'Ice Cream For Activists' for our performance footage and the props and target audience will all be the same as our original idea.
    5. Our initial idea hasn't actually changed that much it is just a simple change to the narrative that means it will be much easier for us to film and allows us to act in it aswell. 

    Sunday, 20 November 2011

    RS - Facebook and Twitter

    I created a Facebook fan page for Swillob Productions which will contain all the recent updates on the coursework as well as any feedback needed. We can also arrange events for filming which will be published on the fan page so everyone will know what time to meet and when! You can see the fan page here.

    I also created a Twitter page for very much the same reason as the Facebook page. I have linked both of the accounts together so everything should be posted on both for both social networking sites. You can follow Swillob Productions here.

    Saturday, 19 November 2011

    RS - Directors going against Genre Conventions

    A perfect example for bands going against their typical codes and conventions would be the recently released video for Mein Land by Industrial Metal band Rammstein. The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund who also directed the very controvesial video for P*ssy (be warned, it's very explicit!) by Rammstein. He has also worked with artist such as Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera showing that he has a wide understanding of different genres of music. Akerlund is known for making mock forms of movie trailers or films which can be seen in the Mein Land music video.

    Rammstein are known for using huge flames live and causing fans to go home from heat exhaustion, as well as having very explicit/controversial and daring videos. Despite all this they went ahead with having a video based on a 1960's Tv show. They are wearing 60's beach attire along with cheesy "surfing" shots all the way to having 60's instruments worn very high as an intertexual reference to The Beatles. They use beach-boy type titles on the screen for some of the lyrics along with the song title, band, director etc. However in the last quarter of the music video the conventions all switch and they go back to their over the top performances with all their instruments on fire, topless women and scary contact lenses!

    Its all very different to their usual videos however it is a perfect example of showing that you don't have to follow the typical codes and conventions. One of Industrial Metals biggest acts ever has done it and they made it work meaning even we could do the same with our genre.

    Here is a typical Rammstein music video with multiple explosions/flames to show off what their live perfomances are like:

    Here is the music video for Mein Land. Be warned this video contains some brief nudity!

    Rammstein - Mein Land from Rammstein on Vimeo.

    Friday, 18 November 2011

    SP - Directors in Music Videos

    Chris Cunningham:
    Chris Cunningham made his directorial debut in 1997 with the music video for "Come to Daddy" by Aphex Twin, which was instantly praised, banned, and raved about by many people in the business. He followed up by making the music video for "Windowlicker" by Aphex Twin, and the astounding "All is Full of Love" video by Björk. Recently, he made his short-film debut, "Flex,". His incredible style alone makes him a director to watch out for in later years.


    Michel Gondry:
    He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band called Oui-Oui. The band released 2 albums ('Chacun tout le monde' and 'Formidable') and several singles until their separation in 1992. Gondry was the drummer of the band and also directed their video clips in which it was possible to see his strange world, influenced by the 60s and by his childhood. One of his videos was shown on MTV and when Björk saw it, she asked him to make her first solo video for 'Human Behaviour'. The partnership is famous: Gondry directed five other Björk's videos, benefiting by the huge budgets. This led to commissions for other artists around the world, including Massive Attack. He also made a lot of commercials for Gap, Smirnoff, Air France, Nike, Coca Cola, Adidas, Polaroid and Levi - the latter making him the most highly-awarded director for a one-off commercial. Hollywood became interested in Gondry's success and he directed his first feature movie Human Nature (2001), adapting a Charlie Kaufman's scenario, which was shown in the 2001 Cannes Festival. Although it wasn't a big success, this film allowed him to direct Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), for which he again collaborated with Charlie Kaufman. The movie became a popular independent film and he and his co-writers won an Oscar for it.  


    Spike Jonze:
    Spike Jonze made up one-third (along with Andy Jenkins and Mark Lewman) of the triumvirate of genius minds behind Dirt Magazine, the brother publication of the much lamented ground-breaking Sassy Magazine. These three uncommon characters were all editors for Grand Royal Magazine as well, under the direction of Mike D and Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch before the sad demise of Grand Royal Records. Jonze was also responsible for directing the famous Beastie Boys: Sabotage (1994) (V) short film as well as numerous other music videos for various artists.

    Anton Corbijn:
    Anton Corbijn (born 20 May 1955) is a Dutch photographer, music video and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for more than a decade. Some of his works include music videos for Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" (1990) and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993), as well as the Ian Curtis biopic Control, George Clooney's The American and the A Most Wanted Man based on John le Carré's 2008 novel of the same name. 

    Mark Romanek:
    Mark Romanek (born September 18, 1959) is an American filmmaker, whose directing work includes feature films, music videos and commercials. He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed 2002 film One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams. His most notable music videos include "Hurt" (Johnny Cash), "Closer" (Nine Inch Nails), "Criminal" (Fiona Apple), and "Scream" (Michael & Janet Jackson). His music videos have garnered 19 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Direction for Jay-Z's "99 Problems" in 2004. He has also won three Grammy Awards for Best Short Form Music Video - more than any other director.

    Wednesday, 16 November 2011

    ALL - Magazine Adverts

    Magazine adverts are placed in media related products, normally music magazines including Q and Kerrang. These adverts gain awareness of a new album, single, digipak, special edition disc, or several tour dates, etc
    The main Common Code and Conventions are:
    • Artists Name (in large font)
    • Album Name (usually the same size font as the artist name)
    • Album Cover
    • Bold writing
    • Web Address of artist, record labels and ticket retailer
    • Colours compliment each other
    • Twitter, Facebook and Youtube pages
    • Tour dates (if any)
    • Record Labels
    • Says the format it is available in - CD and download
    • Font Variation, framing and colour
    • Theme of the artist - fits with the lyrics and albums
    • Information about the album (usually says "Including" followed by the singles released from the album)
    • QR Codes
    • Introductory sentence to grab the audience's attention 'the wait is finally over...'
    • Thumbnails
    • Photo of the CD/Product/Merchandise
    • Format (CD, CD + DVD, CD + Vinyl or Digital)
    • Either release date, out now or pre-order

    Other Conventions we found as a group:
    • Album artwork is included in the advert (All)
    • Says 'new album' on the ad (3/6)
    • Tour dates (2/6)
    • Release date (all)
    • Social media links - twitter/ facebook (no longer myspace for newer releases)
    • Tickets website (2/6)
    • Artist website (All)
    • Artist name positioned top, central on the page (5/6)
    • Tour sponsor advert and website (1/6)
    • Phone number for ticket (1/6)
    • Name of hit single included in the album (2/6)
    • Image of the band (3/6)
    • Thumbnails of the album (1/6)
    Other Ideas:
    • Label it as limited addition to increase sales
    • Image of digipak spread out