Friday, 22 July 2011

SP - Month In Media Complete

Here is the Chat Show that Rob Shaw and I have done over the last few weeks for our Month In Media:

Thursday, 21 July 2011

SP - Mini-Vid Complete

Today Alex McCluskey and I finised editing the Mini-Vid for the track Rob Dougan Clubbed to Death. We went down the narrative for this music video and only started editing it a week ago. We mainly edited in Media lessons but also in free periods. The Mini-Vid is only around 40 seconds long but we tried to use as many shots as possible. We first filmed the music video two weeks ago and only had time to start editing last week due to Media Day and doing several other things. 

Unfortunately we had planned to do another Mini-Vid to the song Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top but we only had time to film it and not to actually edit it. However i do hope when we come back from the summer break we could edit it and compare the two and see which is best. It would also give us more exprience on Final Cut so it will help with our coursework.

Here is our Rob Dougan - Clubbed to Death Mini-Vid:

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

SP - Classroom Scene Complete

George Gamble and Harry Knight finished the editing of our groups classroom scene this week. They both took it in turns to edit our footage when they were free either at lunchtime, breaktime or in free periods. Thos two volunteered to do the editing process for this particular task as Alex McCluskey and I were editing the Mini-Vid and Faye Higgins had editied the Behind the Scenes footage. All of this filmimg and editing has helped us gain valuable experience using Final Cut Express and HD Cameras.  

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

SP - Behind the Scenes of Media Day

During Media Day we had to film some behind the scene footage. We assigned Alex McCluskey for this role and he had to film us throughout the day to give an insight of what we actually did. Alex filmed us whilst we were filming for the main Britney music video to show what props were being used and how we were organising each other to make our section of the music video as good as it could posssibly be. He also filmed us at the very start of the day in the Eco Pod when we had to introduce ourselves saying what our role was for the day and practicing lip-syncing even though there is no signing in our classroom scene. Another We also decided to do interviews during the day so people could voice their opinions on how hte day was going and how it could be improved if we had to do it again. 

Here is the behind the scenes footage from our group during Media Day:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

SP - Change in Mini Vid Song

Last week we decided to change our Mini Vid song because the footage we had shot for our original song, Clubbed to Death by Rob Dougan, wasn’t what we had hoped for. Originally we had chosen this song because we thought it was the easiest one to shoot but after looking at our footage, as a group, we realised we should change our song and aim higher. Therefore we have chosen the track Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top which was another track we had been given and had to choose from.

Here is ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man, the new song we have chosen to make a 30-60 second music video for:

We had finished the storyboards and call sheets on Thursday so we were able to film some new footage on the Friday. We still decided to film at school as we were all free then. We also felt that we could fit the school setting into our new idea. The fact we are re-shooting could help us in the long run as we are getting even wore experience with the HD Cameras and using Final Cut.

SP - Month In Media

Month in Media is all about groups of 3-4 to get together outside of school and discuss what they have learnt in Media lessons during that month. Each month throughout the year a different group of people will create a vodcast, just like we did last year with our film openings, talking about different subject areas within Media. The footage that has been recorded has to be edited in our own and if it is successful it can be well worth the time and effort. This month Rob Shaw and I volunteered to be the first group to experiment with the concept of month of media because it interested us, it will look good on our UCAS forms and our CV's.

Ever since we came back from study leave our Media Tecnician, John Cockshaw, has been filming variuos different aspects of the lessons where significant new concepts have been covered. He did this to give us some useful footage that we could use in our month in media vodcast. Once he had filmed all of useful snew subject areas, John uploaded them on to a Mac in the Media room. 

For this month, Rob Shaw and I were set the task of creating a chat show in which we would discuss the new subjects we had leanrt since we came back from study leave. We chose a few of the new things that we had learnt which inlcluded subjects such as Digitisation, Censorship and Goodwin's Theory. We had to decide where we would film our own footage on these topics in front of the camera so we could upload it onto the same Mac as John's footage so we could edit it all in to one video.

SP - Editing our Mini-Vid

Last week our group filmed all of the footage we needed to create a narrative music video and Alex McCluskey and I have put our names forward to begin the initial process of editing the Mini Vid. The two of us have started working not just in our Media lessons but also free periods and at lunch and break times. So far we have uploaded all of the footage we have filmed for the  Rob Dougan - Clubbed to Death song. We plan on getting all of the shots cut down to the right length and have the full sequence of shots in order before adding any effects. Once we have done that we will then experiment with any affects or transitions to make it look even better. On the whole we are progressing well and we should meet the deadline even though we have found many problems along the way already.  

SP - Final Cut and HD Cameras

Now that we have started the A2 course I have learnt some of the new software we will be using on the Macs at school this year. Unlike last year when we used IMovie, we will be using software called Final Cut. The main reason for this is because it has multiple layers and has much better effects on it. I have had a 30 minute session with our Media Tecnician, John Cockshaw, where he showed me the basic features of Final Cut. Obviuosly my first impression is that it is a much better software and a big step up from IMovie. However just like last year im sure it will take time to get used to. Its not just new software that we will be using this year, we will also be using new hardware. HD cameras will be available for us to use and this will give us a much better quality of picture which will hopefully allow us to film some really good footage. Another advantage over the cameras we used last year is that the HD cameras have a wide angled lens. We have been able to get our first impressions of these HD Cameras as we were able to shoot our Mini Vids with them and also use them during Media Day. Just like with Final Cut i believe that these HD Cameras are a hundred times better than the cameras we used during the AS course as you will be able to see when our Mini Vid and Media Day footage is completed.

SP - Goodwin's Theory

Goodwin’s Theory involves at least one of three aspects that are performance, narrative and concept. However two of these three aspects could be used in one music video. Here is a definition for each aspect:

Performance - This is when the music video is heavily focused on showing footage of the artist or the band playing. This could be at a live event, recording their song at a recording studio or just a casual environment. The fact the artist or band is the main focus of the video it means that the vocalist and the band members will have to lip sync the words rather than actually sing them. This type of video is used for bands that are not extravagant and do not want to spend a lot of money on their music video. This may be heavily used for bands that are just started in the industry and do not have the money to spend. Bands that are more successful and have been around for a longer time would usually spend a lot on their music videos to interest their fans. The biggest problem with this type of music video is that the audience might get bored if the band isn’t really famous because the audience wont know who is who and would loose interest very quickly. Here is an example of a performance music video:

Narrative - This is when the video follows a storyline that is usually relating to parts of the tracks, the genre or lyrics to the track. This route relies on a story for the audience to follow and is usually mixed with the performance route. This means that there will be a storyline in the music video but also snapshots and clips of the band playing as well. Some other ways narrative videos are used is when the song is used in a movie. The music video will involve some scenes from the film whilst cutting away to the band playing the actual song somewhere. Here is an example of a narrative music video:

Concept - This is when the video is based on a single, random idea or concept. These are sometimes used for dance tracks which don’t have any lyrics so a completely random and quirky idea is used to grab the attention of the audience. This is because they do not usually see random videos as most follow performance and narrative routes. The concept route has no boundaries and a creative mind can be used to try new things out.Here is an example of a concept music video:

Saturday, 16 July 2011

SP - Evaluation of Media Day

The week before Media Day we were assigned into groups of about 6-8 people. In these groups we also got were given a certain time period and a certain setting within the music video to film. Our group was told to film the classroom sequence which was also the very start of the music video. We had to film from 0:00 to 0:17 but also help out as extras in the gym sequence as our part was the shortest. 

However in the lessons building up to Media Day we were put in to pairs and we had to deconstruct the whole of the music video. Each pair had around 30 seconds to deconstruct so then we had a detailed deconstruction of all the shots, mise-en-scene and transitions/effects in the whole video. Once we had this summary we were put in to the groups of 6-8 and this is when we had to create the call sheets.

On Tuesday 14th July (Media Day) we started out the day in the Eco Pods. This is where we started practicing how to lip-sync. It is also the place where we filmed our fist part of the behind the scenes vodcast which was all about introducing the team and the task that we were set to do, in our case the classroom and extras in the gym scenes. We also prepared ourselves for the next period where we were actually filming our scenes. This included looking over our call sheets, sorting out all of the mise-en-scene/props and refreshing our memories of who was Britney in which shots.

During periods 2 and 3 we were filming our scenes and being extras in the gym scenes. As our classroom scene only took us around 20-25 minutes to film we had to help out in the dancing routines in the gym. After lunch during periods 4 and 5 we were finishing off our vodcasts which included an evaluation of the day and how we think we could have done things better. We also uploaded all of our footage on the Macs and onto Final Cut so we were able to see what our footage looked liked.

Throughout the whole day we did stumble across quite a few problems whilst filming. Firstly I personally believe we did not spend enough time in the Eco Pod in period 1 planning exactly what the Britney Spears looked like and how we were going to replicate that. A knock on effect of this was that when we arrived in B12 (the classroom we were filming in) we spent too long moving all the tables round and getting ready for the actual filming. Another problem we found was that we did not have enough white shirts to go around so this wasted a lot of time as well. We had to go to the lost property box and use some of those shirts so we had enough for everyone in the room. Another problem we faced was when we went to help the other group in the gym was that we didn’t know any of the dance moves and we had to be taught them by a choreographer which wasted quite a lot of time. Another problem was that we weren’t in the right clothing so we stood out from the other dancers. Some people also thought that they could just mess around in the gym scenes because we had finished our scenes which made the whole team face the consequences.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

SP - Digitisation

The way music videos have been filmed has been completely changed in recent years due to new modern technology being introduced. This is also better known as Digitisation, the movement from analogue to digital technology. This means with new technology being made available for the general public it is much easier and cheaper than ever before to make videos, films and music videos etc. Anyone in this day and age can go out and buy a HD camcorder and buy Final Cut software off the internet and they will have the same equipment as major filmmakers have. However around 10-20 years ago the cost to buy this type of equipment would have been much higher. Only the very rich filmmakers would have been able to buy the equipment needed to shoot a music video. However, it’s not just the hardware and software which has become easier and cheaper to get hold of, the effects used in these videos have also become available to the general public. In the 1990's special effects were limited so the cost to use them was a lot higher. Nowadays special effects are available on software such as Final Cut which we will be using for our A2 coursework.

Here is a list of the most expensive music videos of all time. As you can see most of the top 15 videos on this list all occur in the 1990's. This proves the point that the cost of software, hardware and special effects has fallen dramatically in the last 20 years and the introduction of digital technology has all resulted in cheaper music videos.

This is Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's Scream music video which is the most expensive music video of all time at $7 million made in 1995.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

SP - Fish Eye Lens

In photography, a fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in a broad, panoramic and hemispherical image. Originally developed for use in meteorology. To study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance. They are often used by photographers shooting broad landscapes to suggest the curve of the Earth. Hemispherical photography is used for various scientific purposes to study plant canopy geometry and to calculate near-ground solar radiation.

Here are a few examples of music videos which use a fish eye lens:

SP - Censorship

As the concept and medium of a music video is a form of artistic expression, artists have been on many occasions censored if their content is deemed offensive. What may be considered offensive will differ in countries due to censorship laws and local customs and ethics. In most cases, the record label will provide and distribute videos edited or provide both censored and uncensored videos for an artist. In some cases, it has been known for music videos to be banned in their entirety as they have been deemed far too offensive to be broadcast.

Here is a link which provides detail on each of these that were cut by MTV.

This video is by Madonna called Eroticaa wa banned by MTV in the United States due to video being too explicitly sexually themed.

SP - Mini-Vid Task

This week we have been assigned into groups of 4 and we got given 3 tracks to choose from. We had to make a music video that lasted from 30 seconds to a maximum of 60 seconds. The track we chose was called Clubbed To Death by Rob Dougan. We decided to choose this song because it had no lyrics so we could go down the concept route of music video. Another reason we chose this song is because it is more of a dance song was is was fast-paced so we thought it would be the easiest to film.

Here is Rob Dougan - Clubbed To Death, the song we chose to make a 30-60 second music video for

We have finished all the planning and we are going to be filming at lunchtime at school when we are all free. We feel this is the best time to fit in with the concept of our music video as we need quite alot of people to feature in it. Another reason we are doing a mini-vid is that we can be trying out the new HD cameras which we are able to use now we are going in Year 13. This means that we will all be able to use them by the time we want to film the real thin later on in the year. We will also be trying out Final Cut, the new editing software we will be using at A2. We are using all this new hardware and software because it will give us a big advantage before we even go into the coursework next year. Building up our knowledge of the technology now will save us alot of time when we come back in September. It will also give us more time to develop our ideas for our coursework.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

SP - Media Day

Tuesday 12th July we will be reinacting the world famous music video Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears. However we will face some very tough challenges if we are to fulfil the same high standards that are set in the original video. 

 1. We do not have any of the equipment that was used in the making of the Britney Spears music video. They will have had a lot more equipment to help with steady shots, high angle moving shots etc. 
2. Mise-en-scene is a huge factor in music videos and especially in this one. We will struggle to match the same clothing that was used in the original video. 
3. Make up is also a key feature as there are a lot of close ups used in the video. We will not have the time or products to have the same high standards. 
4. As this will be most of our first attempts at lip syncing it will be very difficult for us nail it first time. It may look very amateur and not as professional as the Britney Spears one.
5. Another big problem we face is the dancing. Britney Spears is a professional dancer and will be able to pay for other professional dancers to perform in her music videos. Most of the people in our media class will never have danced in front of a camera before so it will be a new experience to us.

However there are a few requirements that could help us to make our new take on the Britney Spears video as good as possible. 
1. We could have a few directors who know the video very well any could tell us where we should be and what words we should be miming.
2. The directors could also have call sheets so we could do all the shots that are necessary in the same location so it will save a lot of time. 
3. One good way we could help with the lip syncing is to have the song on someones phone. This will help a lot with the timing of the words etc. 

Last years A2 students faced the same problems as us but managed to come throught the  process very well. We need to leanr from their mistakes and make it even better. Here is the link to last years version of Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time