Prelim Task – Lip Syncing Exercise

In a group, we practiced lip syncing, with the performance synced to the song. We chose to use ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga:

How important is the star image, when filming?

A star image is a very important aspect when filming a music video and lip syncing, as it helps the audience match the star with the mood and tone of the song. A good star image can also make the music video more fluid, helping it all come together. The star image is also important in conveying a meaningful message in the lyrics, as knowing what the star looks like can make it more understandable for the audience.

What went well?

  • We managed to get the lyrics in sync with the lips
  • We used a variety of backgrounds
  • We used different angles, framing and distances (closeup, medium close up, long shot)
  • The camera was in focus and steady

Even better if…

  • We filmed the whole song in one take, from every angle and at each setting, to help it flow better and ensure that we had footage for each lyric.
  • I would have also filmed in more exciting places and perhaps used different people for the lower vocals (to improve audience engagement).

Editing

We found it difficult to ensure that the lyrics and lips were synced, to begin with. However, we used our tips and tricks from our montage experiment. One really helpful tool in Premier Pro were the time markers, which helped us select individual fragments of the videos for each verse – this tool helped us save time and also made it easier to cut. I also found the layering useful to help us select which clip we wanted and the right timings for it. Next time I use Premier Pro, I will watch more tutorials so that I can figure out how to use special effects to make the video more exciting.

How will this benefit my music video?

This task will be beneficial to my music video as it has helped improve my knowledge of the software. I have also been to practice my filming and angles, as well as discover the importance of using tripod to help stabilize the shot. I now know the basics of editing, such as how to cut/trim a clip, drag a video in without audio, fade the sound and how to change the speed duration.  I will now be able to improve my skills further, to hopefully make an excellent music video.

Lip Sync Filming

To be able to learn how to film, edit, direct and lip sync, we filmed a lip sync cover of ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga.

THE FILMING PROCESS

  • To create a more diverse and interesting video, we filmed in a few different locations:
    • Against a brick wall

    • A brown door

    • A green garage door

    • Metal pipes

    • An orange tank

    • Lecture Theatre

  • We mainly filmed from medium closeup’s and I would have preferred if we mixed it up a little by filming extreme closeups of Lucy’s lip’s/a long shot of her against a background. However, in the lecture theatre shots we changed the distance according to the beat (0:54 is further away but then at 0:56 there is a closer shot)

  • To improve, we would film the whole song in one take (multiple times, in different locations and angles) so that we have plenty of footage to use throughout the video.

THE DIRECTING

An important thing I learnt when directing is that you need to clearly tell your star what you want them to do, as it is about working in a team. There is no point being rude as it won’t make the situation any easier and could distract the star, but instead be direct and polite.

THE LIP SYNCING

I didn’t get a chance to lip sync but from observing Lucy, I learnt that it is important to have a performer who is confident in front of the camera. It’s also necessary to slightly exaggerate the words, so it’s clear what you’re saying, but not too much that it looks silly.

THE EDITING

We had a chance to experiment with the editing and improved our use of markers. We also learnt how to sync the video with the lyrics, and the importance of it all being on time (otherwise it could effect the whole video). To improve the editing, I wish we made the initial clip slightly shorter as I feel it could’ve been made more interesting by cutting into it or playing around with different effects and filters.

THINKING FORWARD

From this task, I have improved my directing, filming and editing skills and have also been able to observe the do’s and don’ts with lip syncing. As mentioned, there are a few things I would change to improve my future music video; such as filming the video in one take multiple times and film from a variety of angles and distances. Overall, I think this has been a good learning curve and a useful task to do as it will be very helpful towards the production of our music video’s.

Prelim Task – Mood Montage

Our brief:

Using montage filming + editing to create a short
film (40 seconds – 1 minute) which communicates a single, 
simple idea.

A montage is a a form of editing that condenses time, sense of place, emotion and feeling. As a group, the theme we chose was “all that glitters is not gold“, with the overall emotions being “reflection“. To give us an idea of Mise En Scene, we made a Pinterest moodboard:

click on image to be taken to the moodboard

Once we had the ideas, we made a storyboard of the angles, frames and distances we wanted for each scene:

However, as we began the filming process, we didn’t stick to the original plan, as we realised what would and wouldn’t actually work.

Here is the final montage:

REFLECTION

Do you think your montage has an impact?

I believe our montage has achieved impact by emphasising the overarching emotion of reflection, through medium close ups of the mirror/jewellery and the constant jumping to clips nature, which shows the differences between reality and fantasy.

Do you get a sense of feeling or story / relationship?

With our theme being “all that glitters is not gold”, a key story line was to exaggerate the hypothesis that not everything that looks expensive turns out to be. This was achieved through the fast paced beat which correlates well with the constant cutting between clips of nature and man made.

How does one specified cuts create meaning?

The shot from 21 seconds to 22 seconds begins on a medium close up of me putting stars on my lips and ends on a close up of a puddle. This specific cut of the lips and stars portrays the theme ‘all that glitters is not gold’ by emphasising how hard we try to fit in and meet societies expectations. However, it is contrasted with the following shot of the puddle, as although water glitters, rain is usually seen in a negative light as it associated with emotions such as cold and fear.

Is there a sense of progression or are you trying just to reflect an experience?

I feel like our montage mainly reflects an experience of the theme. This is achieved through the experience of putting on makeup and changes of jewellery and the comparisons of reality and fantasy. The montage has a constant change in speed, which helps the experience flow.

Do you use repetition of some shots? If so, how do they help communicate your idea?

We repeated the first 3 clips (the opening of the lipstick, hands on the rail and putting on the necklace) of the montage again, at the end but we reversed them. This repetition was a good way to offer closure to the montage along with reaffirming the sense of reflection which we were trying to target.

What additional shot would you have liked to get to further communicate the idea?

I would have liked to get some long shots of looking into a long mirror, to offer more variety to the montage and give a sense of place. If we had more time I would have also liked to reattempt the star confetti shots which we originally wanted to do.

Thinking forward, I think that this montage is successful. However, next time I would plan it out more and reflect how each cut will tie in with the theme. I would have also preferred to film in a more suitable location, like a field, as I think the setting has a major impact on the overall product.