Wednesday, 25 January 2012

RS - QR Codes

For the Digipak and Magazine advert we will be adding a QR code onto each of the products so that the user can scan it. If you use your smartphone and download the "Redlaser" app from the Appstore or the "QR Droid" from the Android Market and aim the camera towards the code below it will take you straight to our company blog. The reason for this is that is becoming more popular on these products and more popular around the world because it is a very easy and quick was to download information about a certain product or even a landmark around a city. This form of new media is groundbreaking and is being used by companies worldwide to inform the customer about their product quickly as well as giving them links to websites etc.

Scan me!
"QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds ("modes") of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data."

Source - Wikipedia

Sunday, 22 January 2012

WS + SP - Drafting New Scene Ideas

After receiving feedback we have re-thought a new idea for our music video. However, we have not thought of concrete scenes that we could use to fit in with the feedback that we received. Here are some ideas that we are currently drafting:

  1. A time-lapse of the muse nerd sat by himself at a table in the school common area. He will be reading an NME magazine relating to Muse. This will link in with what is seen at the muse nerds house as the magazine will be seen here as well. The technique we plan to use here is to focus in on the magazine at the house and cut straight to the scene at the school. This idea came about in feedback and will be used throughout the music video, linking to magazines, CD covers and possibly posters.
  2. We will also have a scene where the protagonist is walking down a corridor where there are a few people talking to each other. This will link in with the protagonist playing on a computer game where his avatar is walking down a corridor with people saluting him. This will show his fantasy of being respected, compared with the reality of his actual life.
  3. With relation to "The Resistance" poster in the Muse nerds bedroom we are planning to zoom into the isolated figure then cut to a scene in the park with the protagonist by himself on a swing. We will be able to use a very good high-angle to show his isolation in this setting.
  4. The "Showbiz" CD cover is something else that we will use to link to another part of the video. Because of the Sci-Fi effect of the cover, we have decided it may work to link it to the protagonist playing on the game "Mass Effect". The avatar on the game will be on a planet similar to the one on the CD cover and will be looking towards the earth, which can also be seen on the CD cover.
This is still a work in progress, so any other ideas we have will also be added to the blog.

Friday, 20 January 2012

SP - The New Idea

After taking all of our feedback in to account from yesterday we have come up with a new idea that will hopefully be alot better than our previous attempts. We totally agreed with all of the comments we recieved from our Sample Footage 3 and have used some of the suggestions when drafting some new ideas. Here is the new idea and what we are planning to film in the near future:

  • We are still sticking with the basic foundations of the original idea where we are having a Muse Nerd (Rob Shaw will still be playing this role) who is isolated from his family, from the people he goes to school with and generally from the outside world. The reason for this is because he is a huge fan of Muse whereas everyone else he knows isn't really interested in them. The resulting effects means that no-one can relate to him with anything therefore he is being cut adrift from frienship groups etc. 
  • We have decided to use a vague 'day in the life of' technique because we are planning to start the music video with the Muse Nerd waking up to an alarm. The alarm will be on his phone and it will be the song we Bliss by Muse and it will slowly get louder and louder so it will convey an alarm clock.  
  • Another technique we have chosen to use in this new idea realting to 'a day in the life of' is for the Muse Nerd to dress extremely similarly to Matt Bellamy in a poster he has on his wall. This will signify how much the Muse Nerd is obsessed by the band.
  • The main theme of the new idea is relating to the video game technique we used in Sample Footage 3 but we have developed it considerably. We are planning to have the Muse Nerd playing on video games such as Mass Effect, Skyrim and maybe even GTA4 because in these games you can create an avatar that will resemble the Muse Nerd (Rob Shaw) in real life. 
  • We are hoping to create several different things that can happen to this avatar in the video games which we can replicate nearly identically to what happens to the isloated man in real life in our music video. 
  • We are also going to use some of the Muse posters in the montage from Sample Footage 3 and the panning shot of the CD cases as transitions in our music video.  
  • Muse - The Resistance has a poster which has an isloated figure in it which we plan to zoom in to and then zoom out of which will transition from the poster to reality with the Muse Nerd isloated just like the figure in the poster. 
  • We are also planing to use the same technique on the panning shot of CD cases. We are currently researching band names, song titles and images on front covers of CD cases that will link to a scene that will feature the isolated Muse Nerd. For example, we could zoom in to a CD cover that has a image of the countryside on it and then zoom out and it will be the Muse Nerd on his own in a rural area etc.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

SP - Feedback On Sample Footage 3

This week we completed finishing editing our latest sample footage that include a scene that we had filmed at school and some more footage at Robs house (the Muse Nerd) that was included from feedback from our Sample Footage 2. We have now nearly completed a full rough cut on this idea and all we needed to film is a final scene that will go at the end of the video that will convey a suicide attempt. However when we showed our rough cut to our Media class there were quite a few things that they did not really like and didnt think that worked. These included:

  1. Our class mates thought that the music video was filmed and edited in such a way that it was more like a film opening like last years brief rather than a music video. 
  2. They thought that it was too slow paced and didnt really grab their attention. This is because they said there was some uneccessary footage that was included that we didnt really have to. As a group we made our music video too linear when really for a music video things dont really have to go one thing after another.
  3. As i have briefly touched on our primary aduince thought that most of our shots were far too long and needed to be cut down to make it more fast flowing to match with the quick music. They also said that if we did this our scenes would be shorter because just like the shots they were too long. 
  4. The school scene didnt go down too well either because people thought it was abit cheesy and didnt suit the purpose of our music video. Our media teacher stressed that we should move away from the Muse Nerd being bullied as it would need good quality acting to pull it off. No-one in Swillob Productions has taken any sort of acting lessons so we arent really capable of making it convincing enough.
  5. The general feeling from both the people in our class and our Media teacher is that our footage wasnt interesting enough. They got bored too quickly and wouldnt want to watch it again. The shots needed cutting down as did the scenes and the mise-en-scene was bland and bare.
  6. When our Media teacher stopped our music video around 1:30 minutes in we realised that nothing had actually happened. This was a big reality check and we realised that maybe our footage so far needed to be scrapped and we should start again. 

Some feedback that we did recieve that was positive and we could work on and minipulate to create a new idea included:

  1. Our class mates liked our time lapse that we incorperated in to our music video but did say that it went on far too long.
  2. They also like our montage of Muse posters and thought we could really develop this idea and make more of it.
  3. Our media teacher thought that our panning shot of CD cases could also be developed to make our music video more interesting.
  4. Someone suggested that our music video replicated a technique called 'a day in the life of' which we didnt really intend to convey but realised it could be an idea to try and adapt because it would make more sense.
  5. What we have taken from this feedback is that we can still stick with the vague idea of a Muse Nerd being isolated but we really need to make things more interesting using the feedback stated above.
  6. We have decided to scrap all of our footage so far and think of a new idea linking to our original one that will be eye catching and make people want to watch it again. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

SP - Performance Footage

Today we have filmed some performance footage during our Rec and Lesuire periods at school. This gave us 2nd and 3rd period as well as lunchtime to film these shots of the band and upload it on to our MAC at school. We are using the band Ice Cream For Activists and we managed to use three of them to appear in our music video. We went to one of the band members house and filmed in their garage even though this was not our preffered location. We still decided to give it a try and see if the setting did actually work but also what shots did and didnt work.

Unfortunately it didnt really go to plan as when we got their we realised that they hadnt actually learnt the song like they told us they had. However because we had all made the effort to get cameras and tripods we still decided to ahead and try out some shots. In the end we got quite alot of footage that we thought would be ok as a trial run of performance. When we uploaded it and watched it through we realised we had enountered some major problems. Because the band didnt know how to play the song they were out of time and it was quite obvious in some places that they couldnt play it. Another problem was lighting and becasue it was in a garage with no windows there was only light coming in through the door and a few heating lights. The biggest problem we found as a group was that the band we had chosen didnt really looked interested and that was very apparent. At points throughout the footage there were random band members in the background not playing their instruments and just generally messing around so it just didnt look very proffessional.

The action we have taken since this disappointing shoot is to reconsider which band we are going to use for our performance footage. We are researching in to the possibility of using some of our friends who we know for definate can play Bliss by Muse. We are also looking in to our preffered location which is P Hall at Ilkley Grammar School but we still need permission from the teacher who uses it for Drama/Theatre Studies. It is a much better location as it has a black curtain that we could pull around the band setup, it has specific and high quality lighting for Drama/Theatre performance and it is exremely spacious so we can long shots as well as close ups.

Monday, 16 January 2012

WS - School Scene Review

Having already filmed footage for two out of our three main locations, we decided that this week we would film some sample footage for the scenes that are going to take place in school. We did also have in mind though, that if these scenes were successful, we could use them for our main and final production, making this the most serious sample footage we had filmed so far.

The two locations that we had filmed at so far were the protagonist's house and around town in Ilkley. Our third main location is in school, where the protagonist is alone and without friends, and also suffers bullying from some more popular people. This idea came about when we watched the opening to 'Trick Or Treat', which is also set in a school. We also took a couple of more specific ideas from this opening, for example the protagonist waving to someone who they believe to be waving at them, only to find there is someone stood behind them who is the intended target of the first wave.

One of the main issues we had in the lead up to filming was finding an empty locker in a suitable area, which you could access from both sides, such as on a corridor. The location we finally chose here has access from either end and we were also able to find an empty locker, which is pivotal to this scene for us. A further problem here was casting, as we were thinking about this been part of the final product. Obviously Rob would continue to play the protagonist's role but we needed two others to play the people making him feel isolated in this scene. In the end, Sam and I took on the roles as the scene was only short we felt it would work well.


On the day of filming our attitude was to make it as good as possible, as this would enable us to potentially use the footage for our final product. Despite this it was still a bit of an experiment and we tried to capture some shot variation to make sure we had enough footage to make it into a good scene, as well as providing some interesting shots to use. One problem that we encountered during filming was how thin the corridor we were using was. This would normally make shot variation very difficult to achieve, though we think we have managed it through using different angles and interesting framing, for example shooting through an air gap on the locker. 

However the main problem we found was after we had finished the filming phase and had begun to edit the footage. There is a part following the protagonist being pushed into the locker where he is stood and then suddenly on the floor. We had not filmed any footage of him falling over and felt that it didn't look right on screen. Although music videos do not have to use continuity editing and are actually known for not doing so, we did not intend to break the rules of editing here and decided to film some additional footage the following day.

Filming the next day was relatively simple as we only had a small amount to film. We needed footage of the protagonist falling to the ground and also standing back up again. This didn't take us too long, but made the footage look far better when edited in.

Our third sample footage was as successful as we could have hoped for here, successful enough we are considering using it for our final piece. Despite the slight hiccup, we now think that the footage is good and we will be hoping to get feedback on it soon. Depending on the feedback and whether people consider it good enough, or if it should be improved will decide whether we use it as part of our final work or not.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

WS - Swillob Update

We are well into the coursework now and as a group we feel it will be beneficial to look at what we have and haven't done so far.

So far we have:

  • Formed as a group - Swillob Productions
  • Created a group blog, picture and a logo for our group
  • Looked at and considered the codes and conventions of music videos
  • Decided on a band and a song to use for our video
  • Pitched and planned a first, original idea for a video
  • Looked at the history of Muse (The band whose song we are using)
  • Viewed music videos by our chosen band, Muse
  • Made an 'Ultimate Guide' on Muse
  • Looked at the original 'Bliss' music video
  • Researched the online footprint for our chosen song, for example fan created videos on YouTube
  • Researched the meaning of the lyrics for our chosen song
  • Looked into the Alternative Rock genre, the genre that our song is from
  • Researched important directors in the music video industry and directors who actually go against the expected conventions of music videos
  • Set up Facebook and Twitter pages to interact with people online who may be interested in our video
  • Created a treatment for our music video
  • Altered our idea based on feedback that we have recieved
  • Looked into track and artist record labels
  • Looked at other music videos and films for inspiration for our video.
  • Deconstructed a lyrics sheet to try and give us ideas
  • Created a storyboard for our video, as well as an animatic.
  • Created Podcasts and Vodcasts discussing where we are on he course, what we plan to do and to explain decisions we have made during production/planning.
  • Produced three pieces of sample footage


What we need to and plan to do next:
  • Create a digipak for our music video
  • Create a magazine Ad for our music video
  • Film and edit a final version of our music video

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

RS - Digipak Deconstruction - Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams

  • Very large central image of a tree with shadow of man (Jack Johnson) holding his acoustic guitar
  • Man is blacked out along with the tree for a continous theme
  • Simple yellow background
  • Two large stickers highlighting the special edition features on the CD
  • Artist Name top right in large black font
  • Album name in opposing white colour smaller and below artist

  • Similar theme to the front with the yellow background and a tree trunk to the right of the frame in the same colour as the front
  • Track list but without the numbers of the track
  • Bar Code
  • Small print for copyright
  • Artist + record label urls
  • Record label logo
  • Simple design with lots of space in the centre
  • Artist image this time you can see who he is
  • Guitar is framed infront of him
  • His hand covers part of his face

  • He wants the audience to focus on the guitar and the music not himself
  • Lyrics booklet inside the left panel with leaf theme
  • Plastic holder for the CD
  • CD has the artist + album name along with record label logo + small print
  • Leaf theme similar to the booklet
  • Inside panels etc all link together with the leaf theme
  • Exterior links together with trees and yellow colour scheme
  • Inside has a white coloured layout to it

Monday, 9 January 2012

WS - Bryan Adams - 18 Til I Die

To really try and get an understanding of Digipaks, we need to look at Digipaks in general, but also examples from our own genre. For this reason I have decided to look at this example, from Bryan Adams for his album "18 Til I Die". This digipak comes under the broader genre of Rock music that is shared by the song we are using. Below is a quote from Wikipedia putting the album into context:

"18 til I Die is the seventh studio album by the Canadian rock artist Bryan Adams. Released on June 4, 1996 through A&M Records, the album became a commercial success peaking at #1 in United Kingdom and number two in his homeland Canada." [Wikipedia]

To begin with we will look at the obvious parts of the digipak and the layout. This particular product has four panels; a front cover, back cover and two panels on the inside. This is common for digipaks, although some do have six panels that can be folded out. Often digipaks have front and back covers that are somehow linked, and the panels in the middle may be similar. The middle panels usually have some relevance to the front and/or back cover, and this is the case in this example. The background image on the back panel is the same as the background on one of the inside panels. This shows the outer panels and inner panels are linked, something we are looking at for our own digipak in some way.

It is worth noting that the actual CD in this particular digipak has a design printed on it. This is something we are looking into and need to make a decision on. The design on this example is quite similar to the front cover. There is no background image on the panel, so the design on the CD is the whole image for that panel. Without it the panel would look very bland and boring, so this is something we need to consider seriously before making a final decision on this.

The other inside panel has a background image with a more dominant, but smaller image set in front of this. This shows the use of layering on a professional product, something we are required to do on our own digipak. The black and white image on the panel is very bland and doesn't particularly catch the eye. As a personal opinion I think it is quite boring and ineffective, so hopefully we will go for something more eye-catching that will appeal better to our own target audience.

If we go back to looking at the back panel we can see everything you would expect, such as a barcode, copyright information and logos of companies involved in the making of this digipak. There is also another image of a man that can be linked to the background image of both the back panel and one of the inside panel due to him wearing three rings. The title "18 Til I Die" can be seen written in bold writing on the back cover several times, though there isn't a large standout title on the back cover. 

The main things that I have taken from looking at this example are:

  • Four panels with something of the design to link them all
  • Closer links between the outer two and inner two panels
  • Design printed on the CD
  • Barcodes/copyright information/company logos included
  • Black and white won't necessarily work and can be quite bland.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

RS - Digipak Deconstruction - The Beatles - Love

  • Album name larger than the artist name and in very bold font
  • All of the band members silhouettes are around the album name
  • Very bright colours
  • Multiple Layers
  • Artist name above the album name and not central, slightly to the left
  • Stripes/bands in the bottom right and on the left

  • No tracklisting at all
  • Very large space just with the album artwork continuing the same theme
  • Band url the largest font on the back
  • Small print for copyright
  • DVD logo
  • Record Label logo
  • Not much at all on the back
  • Not very helpful to the audience if they want to see what is featured on the cd

  • Theme relates to the exterior
  • Silhouettes of the band members again, still linking to the exterior
  • Artwork on both panels before you open them up

  • Tracklisting for the digipak located inside and on the left panel
  • Lyrics sheet inside of the left panel
  • Continues with the style and layout again throughout
  • CD continues the layout with the silhouettes and the same colours
  • Plastic Holder for the CD
  • Continuous colour scheme and themes with the silhouettes etc and the circles/bands throughout making a bright but rather boring digipak as it is all the same

Saturday, 7 January 2012

WS - Looking at a Muse Digipak

"The Resistance" Digipak by Muse
This week we have started work on the first ancillary task and this is expected to be finished by the end of the week. The first ancillary task is a Digipak that we need to create for our finished product that will accompany it. The first part of this task as with any task we do is to carry out research into similar professional products. We need to look at common codes and conventions of Digipaks in general (we have already done this as a task earlier in the course, this can be seen as a blogpost here), as well as looking at more specifically our own genre and, as the title suggests, a digipak that was created by the band we are working on, Muse.  

From looking at the DigiPak one thing that is immediately apparent is the difference in colour between the front panel and all the other panels which are black and white pictures of the band. The pictures being in black and white changes the mood and feel of the digipak, something that we are considering ourselves due to the mood of our own video. The back panel for this particular product matches the inside in that it is black and white with a picture of the band, as well as including the contents of the disc. Other digipaks that we have looked at tend to have a similar front and back panel with the inside being different. This digipak therefore is going against that common convention, yet is still a successful selling, professional product showing that a product doesn't have to stick to strict "rules" and breaking these can work effectively.

Back Cover for "Resistance" by Muse
So far as a group we have considered using black and white shots for the inside of our digipak as we feel it reflects the mood of our video. This is not a certain idea yet, but it is something we are thinking about. We are also looking at using picture of the protagonist for the inside panels. One idea is to have pictures of different locations that we are using in our video including the protagonist. Again this is just an early idea but a quick decision is required. We also think this could look effective as it would be similar to this digipak, apart from we would be using our protagonist rather than band members.

If you would like to see pictures of each individual part of this digipak, then there is a link below that takes you to a website with a number of pictures on.

"Origin Of Symmetry" front cover
Pictures of "The Resistance" by Muse digipak.

Another Muse product that we have looked at is the artwork for the album "Origin Of Symmetry". This is actually the album which "Bliss", the song we are using is from. We have been looking at this for inspiration from our front cover and the idea came about to use a similar colour scheme for our own front panel. We are currently unsure of what to do for a front cover, though we are quite certain that we want it to be colourful so it is the opposite of the black and white inside. As a group we quite like the idea of a similar colour scheme to this, but a firm idea of what else we want is still needed. Current ideas include more pictures of the protagonist or a made up piece of art.

A further blog post will be added when our ideas develop or our digipak is created.

Friday, 6 January 2012

RS + SP - Digipak Research - Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Front Cover

  • Unique see through gloss effect
  • Sleeve for main package
  • Stickers telling the audience what is on the cd
  • Names of the musicians for more publicity. Usually has a band name eg. Nine Inch Nails

    Back Cover
  • You can see the case through the sleeve
  • Stuck on using tape (fairly low quality) so that it moves around
  • Barcode
  • Company names
  • Small print like on movie posters

  • Same gloss effect like the front
  • Artwork related to the film
  • Typical for a digipak having concept artwork
  • Continuous gray house style used throughout
  • Quite a striking image and draws the attention of the audience

  • Information about who composed the actual soundtrack etc
  • Similar theme with the gray house style
  • Image related to the film once again

  • Continuous background colours
  • Plastic holders for the CD
  • Numbering of the CD's
  • Very faint text on the CD's
  • Continuous image on the CD's

Thursday, 5 January 2012

RS - Digipak Deconstruction - Rammstein - Made in Germany

  • Very simple image of one of the band members face mould
  • The image has a very basic white background image 
  • The Album name is the only form of text shown on the front of the digipak
  • The "R" in the title is the band's logo and is recognisable worldwide which is why they dont need the band name on the front (similar to just NIN on a Nine Inch Nails album)

  • Tracklisting for the first cd is all bunched up at the top of the page whilst the second CD which is remixes by other bands takes up most of the page
  • Artist logo is towards the bottom (same logo as the front) 
  • Bar Code is included
  • The image relates to the front of the image with the white theme and the mold of the band members head
  • Record Label logo at the bottom
  • Artist url
  • Small print at the very bottom

  • CD is held in with a plastic holder
  • Behind the holder is another image of a face mold relating to the exterior
  • The right panel contains another band members face mould with the same colour scheme
  • The actual CD has the same colour scheme and the same font colour as the exterior

  •  Same layout and colour scheme as the other panels
  • Plastic holder for the CD with image behind it
  • Same font and colour scheme throughout
  • Another band members head mould with the same coloured background
  • Overall the inside and exterior link together using the same colour scheme and font throughout
  • The face mould theme is continuous throughout the whole digipak