After some time discussing both ideas, we saw that we had some similar ideas- following a girl, specifically on a life changing adventure. We bot wanted flash backs, interesting transitions and an emotive storyline. So together we sat down together and created a Spotify collaborative playlist. We both added to it, and listened to each others additions. Eventually we both agreed on one song: Follow Your Fire by Kodaline.
It has potential to be as happy as Megan’s original idea, and the chorus provides excellent opportunity to create powerful, interesting, active montages. The song also has a darker sense of loss and regret which originates from my first pitch. I am very excited to get filming!
This was my original idea. A seemingly innocent girl feels guilty about her significant others death. I pitched it, using the powerpoint, to Megan, who positively accepted and expanded on it. She even directed me to Ed Sheeran’s Lego House, which had the perfect vibe I was aiming for.
Megan’s choice: Pack Up – Eliza Doolittle
Megan then pitched her music video idea to me , and although it was drastically different, I really liked it. In summary her idea was about a girl going on a journey through life and dealing with hardships. We discussed the transitions she wanted to use and I input my ideas too.
To understand what to include in our own music videos we were assigned a task to deconstruct professionally made music videos. To look for the narrative and performance percentages and the story or message being told.
Performer: Katy Perry – Song: Chained to the Rhythm.
This is a previous students work, my task is to review (using the success criteria) and learn from their experience. Below is one example of each success target from the music video:
Holding a shot steady
In terms of shot steadiness I would put this previous students music video, in terms of the level ladder in Upper level 3. The performance aspect of the music video clearly uses a tripod to maintain a steady shot, and throughout camera movement is used to enhance the narrative (make the fighting seem more realistic); although in shot such as 2:45 the camera is inappropriately hand held and shaking.
Framing a shot
I would give a Lower Level 4 for Framing a Shot, there is a variety of frames that appear well composed, creating visual interest; and ultimately an end product that looks professional. For example at 0:15 the two stars are both comfortably inside the wide, two shot, and have lead space. The overlay text, added later in edit is perfectly sized, not cutting into either actor.
Variety of shot distances
Lower Level 4 for the huge variety of shot distances. In both the fight scenes and the performance section, there are wide two shots, close up reaction shots, medium shots and low angle powerful shots. These assist in character development and make the video visually engaging. Personally I found 1:53 to be a great example of different shot distances making the performance section more visually interesting.
Appropriate to task
Upper Level 4, because this music video has a clear aesthetic and is clearly conventional to its genre. The actors are outstandingly directed, their emotions and stage combat is really believable and exciting to watch. The video really amplifies the meaning and lyrics of the song, a moment where this is clearly done is 0:36.
The performance section has fantastic makeup, that makes the actors appear alien or “super-human” making the narrative consistent. The two fighters are dressed in appropriate, badass clothing, so the audience is instantly aware of their intentions and tension is instantly made. Obviously very thought out mise-en-scene, which is why I award this music video a Upper Level 4.
Editing for meaning
There is fantastic editing in this music video that significantly adds to the narrative and meaning. 0:29 is an example of amazing after effects which emphasises the video-game setting of the narrative. I would award Upper Level 3, as there are a few small continuity errors, but a fantastic sense of pace and the different ’rounds’ introduce a clear sense of progression in the story line.
In this music video the transitions from narrative to performance are very quick; this amplifies the pace and action of the video. More creative transition would have improved the video greatly, however the initial and last transition, moving in and out of the arcade cabinet are outstanding! (0:00, 2:56) I would give this student a Lower Level 3.
Sound with images
The video is synced really well to the sound of the music. Especially at 0:27 when the ‘power-up’ occurs at the same time as the rising sound effect- fantastic. As the song increases in speed, so does the cuts and movements, however there were occasionally delays- so I would say its a Lower Level 4 tier.
The next stage from creating my own mock videos, was to understand the conventions and formats of current, professional music videos.
From analysing these videos I now understand the amount a music video is performance compared to narrative is important; obviously music videos are created to generate money, but they also represent the artist, their morals, virtues and how an audience will react to them. I now understand there are two types of music video
Narrative- The video is telling a story, not always obviously linked to the lyrics and not always linear (disjunctive). Somewhere there is a beginning, middle and end, from the which the audience can obtain their own meaning.
Illustrative- The video is literally showing what the lyrics suggest.
Amplification- When the video adds to the themes/ message of the song.
We have been warned to avoid telling a linear, complex story, as apparently meaning will be lost and the piece boring. Focusing on a emotion, atmosphere and vaguely hinting at a story will intrigue an audience much more and be personal.
My next short production task was to create a montage of an average school day.
Before shooting in a pair we created a storyboard pf the possible shot we could take to make this an effective production.
I manually used the zoom on the camera, when she entered the toilet and added a zoom as an after effect in Premier Pro to compare the two. I now understand that software zooms are smoother, and I will use them more frequently than manual ones.
I used the repetition of my actor going to her locker to show the progression of the day, passage of time and repetitiveness of school days. This is a convention of montages.
The speed used defiantly inferred tension and stress.
I learnt how to use my time manage wisely, filming both her entering and leaving the building at the same time, as well as all the locker scenes too. This made sure all my locker scenes were angled the same and I didn’t run out of time.
In Premier Pro I learnt how to add cheery background music, and a school bell ringing sound effect, which I think added to the streamline element of the montage.
If I were do this again I would have tried to used some more interested transitions which are on the software, such as fades, wipes and dissolves.
“A continuity task involving filming and editing a two characters in conversation, with one character who leaves the room’.
This continuity edit assisted me in developing my match-on-action skills (which make the scene more interesting), as well as shot/reverse shot technique (making the scene coherent) and understanding the 180 degree rule (as to not confuse the audience). These are the conventions of continuity edits and helped me create a logical linear story.
During the filming I learnt the importance of blocking scenes with my actors and providing them with positive feed back to encourage them.
We filmed the same scene several times, with a wide two shot, low angle medium shot, and close up reaction shots to enhance the story telling, emphasis their relationship and emotion. I also utilised a tilt and a pan
If I were to do this mini project again I would ensure that my actors knew exactly when to move, so no acts where repeated and the continuity interrupted. I would also instruct my actors to pause longer between the lines so I could more easily edit the clips together.
In the process of piecing this scene together I learnt how to orientate the video editing software Premier Pro. I worked out how to import footage from and to folders to remain organised, select sections with the marker tools, zoom usefully in closer to view the layout easily, precisely trim the clips and add special effects, such as a slow zoom in.
By comparing my first draft to the final I think its clear, I’ve improved a lot. As you can see there have been some drastic and wonderful changes to my magazine as I have learnt and progressed through this media course. From the removal of that awful gradient, the different choice of image, DTP skills, use of language and colour scheme. Wow, this comparison is so exciting to see – the amount I have improved as a media producer, in this short amount of time!
My magazine follows so many conventions (of mastheads, use of images, use of language, typical colour scheme etc) but breaks the right amount (the distortion of the main star image, extreme articles, the strange makeup etc) to fit in to the Indie Pop genre!
For future projects I think I will be able to adjust to the editing software quicker, and rely on my Photoshop and Indesign skills now. I’ve also learnt how to take reflection and criticism from others and even myself onboard more effectively.