Monday, 31 October 2011

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 11th Slide 'Questionnaire'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 10th Slide 'Test Shots'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 9th Slide 'Word Cloud'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 8th Slide 'Costume Mood Board'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 7th Slide 'Mood Board'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 6th Slide 'Timeline'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 5th Slide 'Brain Storm'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 4th Slide 'Genre Characteristics'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 3rd Slide 'Official Video'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 2nd Slide 'Song Information'

Music Video: Pre-Production: Pitch: 1st Slide 'Title Page'

We introduced our slideshow pitch with a title page of our production company. This is a logo of our company we think it is fitting with an art deco theme. We gave an explanation of the reason of our name, "we chose the name 'Avant-Garde' because it is French for experimental."

Music Video: Pre-Production: Our Pitch of our Music Video

We had to pitch our idea of a music video to our class, as if we was pitching to a producers and people who would finance our video.

We had to include slides such as: 
- Information on song
- The official video of the song
- Genre Characteristics
- Brainstorm
- Timeline
- Mood Board
- Costume Mood Board
- Word Cloud
- Test Shots
- Questionnaire

Friday, 21 October 2011

5th Group Meeting

4th Group Meeting

Our forth meeting was to discuss the task that was given to use from our teach: to create a pitch of our music video.

We had to find out what our target audience is, Efosa done research on the internet to find out about music channels and magazine, he used to find out on audience figures.

Max looked into a typical target audience. someone who our video will appeal to.

We was given the task to create a pitch for our music video idea. The pitch was presented to people who will 'fund' the project. The pitch was on Power Point and had to include our audience research, mood boards, word clouds, our time line.

Daniel wanted to try out some effects that we could use in out video, such as slow-motion / reverse with the use of talcum powder. He also looked into colours and polarized some shots.

3rd Group Meeting

This meeting was important as we had to make the decision on what song we are choosing for our project. after last meeting we had two choices: Spitfire by The Prodigy and Epoca by The Gotan Project. We all went away from the meeting and done research on both songs, we looked at lyrics, ideas, inspiration form other videos, Word clouds and genre characteristics.

After these research session we came to the decision to choose Spitfire by The Prodigy.

Music Video: Production: Tom Jones Editing Sync Test

The first step was to drag the audio into the A1 track, turn on the soundwave display and lock the track so it couldn't be moved. I then trimmed and inserted the clip into the timeline, using markers to sync it with the audio track. I discovered that if you increase the speed of the track by 2% it syncs much better with the audio. I don't know why it works but i can only imagine that the clip has been sightly distorted when it was converted from HD to the mac. I put all the clips in place using markers to decide upon cuts and for the lipsync, then added various effects to the video to make it look more professional. The first thing I did was use a colour corrector, in which i increased the midfield and the white balance, then upped the contrast slightly and lowered the saturation until it was black and white.
At 17 seconds I decided to add a time effect called "trails" which distort the clip so movement delays and appears multiple amount of times. I used it on a clip of me pointing, and when i decided i didn't want the effect to continue past when was about to put my arm down, i manually added a fade to the effect by using pointers and lowering the "Mix" edit. This way the clip reverts back to normal without effects.
At 25 seconds i changed the black and white to a hue of pink, and changed the speed of me dancing to 50%, then duplicated this clip and reversed the duplicate so I would dance one way in slow motion, then dance the other way in slow motion. I added crossfades to make the transition between black and white and pink gentle, but as the fade is long it also creates a psychedelic effect.

As this was a short exercise I was stuck with how to end it smoothy and didn't want to cut to black suddenly, so I cut out the middle section between the first verse and the solo on the audio track and spliced them together so there is a smooth transition between verse 1 and the solo, this divided the length of the whole track and I added a fade where it seemed appropriate to end.
I then found another clip of me dancing, and put a slug in-between the last clip and the beat of the music when the solo starts, I then applied the house style to this clip and added a glow effect so there would be a solid wash of black and white fading into a slightly dazzled image of me smiling, to which i faded to black and wrapped the edit

Music Video: Production: Tom Jones - It's Not Unusual (Practise Editing)

2nd Group Meeting

After a few days of thinking individually on our song choice we had different ideas. Efosa had the idea of use The Prodigy a electronic band. Daniel though of using a French group called The Gotan Project, which create a tango/electronic music, a genre of music Dan has been influenced by recently. Max had the idea of using a Fat Boy Slim song, a similar Dj to The Prodigy.

After discussion we decided on two songs to choose from: Spitfire by The Prodigy and Epoca by The Gotan Project.

Another decision we had make was our Production Company name. We all had ideas but we all agreed on Max's choose. Avant-Garde Productions. We was attracted to this name as it is french for something that is experimental and innovative, something we believed our project will be like.

1st Group Meeting

This is the first time we have got together after we have been put in a group together, we are all pleased as we are all friends and know we can bounce of each other with ideas. So with no messing about we jumped straight into the project.

We started with discussing music tastes. Max has a variety of taste, but he enjoys Hip-Hop and Deep House the most. Efosa stated he was interested in Hip-Hop and R&B. Daniel told us his tastes were Rock and Experimental music.

Another topic we discussed is media that influences us. Daniel told us he enjoys Drama's such as 'Lost'. Efosa told us he was influenced by Action movies. Max said he enjoyed radio .

After a background on everyones media enjoyments. We agreed we wanted to create a music video that was 'outside the box' and professional.

We then gave our ideas on what we would like to create, Efosa told us he wanted to make a video with a Drum n Bass song. Daniel wanted a song with an electronic feel. Max wanted a video with a rock them and fast paced.

Music Video: Pre-Production: Background on The Prodigy

The Prodigy are an electronic dance music act from England originating from Braintree, Essex in 1990. Other related acts include Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers. They are considered pioneers of the big beat genre and started gaining popularity in the 1990s. 

Their career began in 1990 when James Howlett played XL boss some of their demo tapes and XL Recordings signed them up and the rest became history. They are still with XL recordings an

Right now The Prodigy has Liam Howlett (keyboardist and composer), Keith Flint (dancer and vocalist), and Maxim (MC and vocalist). as the current members. Leeroy Thornhill used to be a member but he left in 2000.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Music Video: Production: Effects we could use

This is not a video on how to eat fire, we won't be doing that.
This is a video teaching you to make a plume of fire from one torch to light another one without the sticks touching, it fits the lyrics to our song and could be used as a transition effect

Music Video: Pre-Production: Costume Ideas

I thought i'd try and make myself look like a punk one day after media while my mind was still fresh with inspiration, so I raided my mums room for eyeliner and anything else I could find. After a while I found one of my dads jackets that he wore when he was my age, it seems to suit the punk theme; which was a shock to say the least. 
Also I don't look like this normally. 

Music Video: Production: Key Framing Exercise

Monday, 17 October 2011

Music Video: Production: Pink Panther Rhythm Editing Exersize

The first step was to open final cut and save the project as "Pink Panther Exercise" and upload the folder with pictures and music into the media bin.
Next we inserted the audio into A1 and inserted the pictures into V1 with a different overlapping picture on V2. The next step was using markers to determine the cuts. We used the saxophone in the music to mark out the cuts between each picture. When we had all our markers, we used the blade tool to cut the track on the markers, then deleted every other clip so we had a constant switch between one picture and the other, in time with the saxophone.
When we were more confident and felt we had developed our editing skills enough, we started to incorporate our own pictures and expand the number of pictures in the timeline.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Music Video: Production: Spider Shots

I got home from school one day and a spider crawled across my living room as i was taking my shoes off. I took the opportunity to capture it and take some shots for our music video.

Here are some screenshots direct from my camcorder

We used this pencil to persuade the spider to run towards the camera. It worked well, and also gives you an idea of the size i had to film everything at. 

I created a white studio using paper placed on my living room studio, and used film lights to create big shadows which added a eerie feel when the spider was running.
I used overexposure while filming so the spider would appear more faint and transparent, whilst remaining focused. (Picture is much darker than appears on film)
On final cut I will blur the background so you can't see the grain of the paper, which will make everything look smoother and more professional. The spider itself will be focused, and i'll change the colouring so it has a bolder and more imposing appearance.

The screenshot I haven't got is a clip of the spider with a red crucifix shining over it. I created this by cutting a cross in some thick card and shining a red light through it. Its a very powerful shot I wish to incorporate into our music video

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Homework: Max Davies: Where's Your Head At? - Basement Jaxx music video analysis using Andrew Goodwin's theory

Using Andrew Goodwin’s music video theory I will analyse Where’s Your Head At? – Basement Jaxx. I have chose this video because of the genre of the song relates to Spitfire – The Prodigy (out song we are making a video for), It is Electronic Dance. It is a good idea to analyse this video because it will give me experience in seeing what genre characteristics are shown in the video.  So I can take this research and hopefully improve my final piece of coursework. The song was released 11th December 2001 on the record label XL.

Institutional information
The music video was directed by Traktor, a group Swedish production team, consisting of five directors and two producers, they are very underground with not much information about them. They have worked with the likes of The Prodigy. The video is seen as quite infamous as it was voted 60th in Channel 4’s ‘100 Greatest Scary Moments.’ This music video won the 11th Annual Music Video Production Awards for Best Electronic Video and Best Directorial Debut. The video It is about a musician (played by Damiean Samuals) looking for ‘The latest thing in pop music,’ which leads him to a hospital institution which is described as ‘the armpit of nowhere’ where a scientist claims he has the latest thing. However the meeting goes out of control.

The genre of the music is Electronic Dance, which is music created by DJ’s digitally and is produced to be played in nightclubs.  The video does not conform to the genre characteristics of a typical Electronic Dance music video, as there is not dance routine, fast editing or use of lights. However over the years Electronic Dance music videos have adopted the characteristic of a weird concept and this was one of the first to apply the idea.

Relationship between lyrics and visuals
In this genre of music lyrics is not the most vital feature which makes it, however there are a few lyrics in this song and there is a relationship.

The first is the chorus “Where’s your head at?” this is link to the visuals as the video is about swapping heads of animals and humans. This lyric could be coming from the scientist demanding the brain or head the human and asking where it is.

The next lyric I analysed is “Don’t let the walls cave in on you.” To me this sounds like a reply to the lyric above and fighting against the scientists works.

Relationship between music and visuals
The first section which shows this relationship is when the music begins, a guitarist is being wheeled into the hospital and when he lifts his head a creepy way the music begins with a big first beat. It shows intersexuality of a Horror movie.

There’s a relationship between these two when the monkeys break out and we can see it is out of control, when this happens the music drops and begins a slow, nausea effect type of music, when know it is leading to havoc.

Close-ups of the artists
The video stars both artists of Basement Jaxx, they are Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, however the way they feature is not seen as the 'the norm.' The face of these two are superimposed on to monkeys performing a DJ set.

Their record label is XL, an independent label who are very free with their artist's and allow them independence. From the way the band is represented we can see that the record company are looking at a niche market as we are not shown the duo as a full person and selling them as a 'product.' This is a part of Richard Dyer's Start Theory as it shows the relationship between star, industry and audience. From this strategy they will not sell to a mass market, this is relevant as the music is not aimed at the mass market.

Type of video
This music video is a mixture of all Andrew Goodwin’s theory of types of music video, performance-based, narrative based and concept based. The performance is a small part but is shown when the Basement Jaxx monkeys are performing a DJ set, it is very serial. We see a narrative as Damian Samuels is searching for something new in Pop music but ends up in a mad scientist’s experiment and has to escape. The concept of this video is that Pop music is dying out and that the world is going crazy.

The editing of Traktor at the beginning is very simple as we need to understand the narrative, if the editing is simple with straight cuts we focus on the narrative. However when the chaos begins, the pace of the editing enhances. An example is when the scientist is goes crazy and destroys his laboratory.

Camera shots/movement
The camera shots and movements are again simple but effective as Traktor wants to give the feel of a short film. At the beginning there is a tracking shot on Damian Samuals, so that we can get an insight of the main character and understand his role.

There was another movement I thought was clever, when the main character is entering a booth. It is a Point of View shot and it gives us the idea of the use entering something not right as it is a tight space.


Friday, 7 October 2011

AGP Logo

Music Video: Production: Film Test (slow motion reverse)

This effect was created using a hd camera with a high shutter speed and four 2000w film lights. The shutter speed was so high that the camera was filming pitch black without the lights, i actually filmed this on a sunny day at 3 o'clock. These effects were created in final cut pro by changing the contrast and slowing down the clip to a third of the motion, and reversing the clip. The posterized effect was created in final cut and is my favorite as it seems most suitable for our music video.

Here are the steps i took to achieve this.

  • Raised the shutter speed on camcorder to its maximum 
  • Raised the Iris to allow more natural light to be captured
  • Plugged in film lights and adjusted the white balance to suit the focal point of the shot
  • Filmed myself dispersing talcum powder in different ways
  • Rendered the video in final cut
  • Slowed the motion of each clip down to 35%
  • Reversed each clip
  • Added various effects and upped the contrast on every clip so the talcum powder really stood out
  • Kept on playing with effects until i was happy with the look of each clip
  • Rendered the project and uploaded to youtube

Music Video: Pre-Production: Questionnaire for Audience

Avant Garde Productions
Music Video Questionnaire

·      How appropriately do you feel the music video ideas fit the genre characteristics of the audience?

·      Do you feel a conceptual narrative works better with the music or would a structured narrative address the music more?

·      Is this a song you would listen to on the radio or buy from ITunes?

·      Where would you expect to see a video like this? (I.E. a specific magazine/music channel)

·      Can you visualise our ideas on the timeline working with the song?

·      What location do you think would best suit our ideas?

·      Do you think we are conforming to the genre characteristics?

·      Would you suggest the punk audience is the right audience to be targeting, and do you feel our ideas convey this?

·      Would a fast, straight cut edit work best with the music? Or would slower shots with an emphasis on cinematography work better, or maybe a mix or both?

·      For costume, would a punk theme suit the video, or would normal clothes or even smart clothes suit a conceptual narrative more when combined with our ideas?

Music Video: Pre-Production: Music channels our music video could be featured on

Music Video: Pre-Production: Magazines that could feature our music video