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Digipack Conventions Analysis

As we are creating our own digipacks, it is important to study, and understand what makes an album cover and back good. As our song ‘Faint’ is by ‘Linkin Park’, my group and I decided to study album covers and backs from similar artists to them. I chose one of their other albums ‘Hybrid Theory’, as it is the same genre that we will be making our digipacks about. We can use this as inspiration, or at least use similar conventions such as colour scheme, font, imagery or themes in our cover.

This album cover and back have such conventions such as:

  • Artists name
  • Album Name
  • Traditional alt rock style cover
  • Consistent colour scheme
  • Bar-code
  • Record Label
  • List of song tracks

 

If we use, remix, chop and change these conventions, I believe that we will have a unique yet somewhat conventional digipack, that not only reaches the predictable pleasures of our target audience, but also challenges them, presenting our target audience with a new style, challenging their beliefs and refreshing their thoughts about the genre and our band. If we stick to a base guideline and general conventions, yet mix it up, I think that we will have a very original yet fitting digipack.

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Music Video Draft 4

We have now created a draft 4 for our music video, polishing some effects and filters that we have been implementing over the past few weeks. However, we have seen our music video so many times now that it is hard for us to stay objective, sometimes you need to take a step back and get a fresh, new opinion on it. We got one of our peers Bilal to react to our video, asking questions about narrative, challenging us on why we used certain shots, angles and distances. Why was this shot held on for so long? Or why was this shot put in at all? What significance does it have? Bilal did have both positives and negatives:

Positives:

  • He liked the glitch effects
  • He liked the distortion of colour in some shots
  • He loved our main stars performance
  • He really liked some of the mise en scene

Negatives:

  • Some things he didn’t understand, he was asking a lot of questions about why everything was happening
  • Some of the metaphors were too subtle for him, and confused him
  • He wasn’t too thrilled with one of our stars performance in comparison with the others

We can try to fix some of these negatives however, by maybe getting a shot or two in that will give some exposition, and give the audience just enough to go off of. However, distortion and confusion was something that we wanted, we really wanted to challenge their perception of the music video, and put some abstract shots and effects in there, which was accomplished. We should keep improving the effects, and colour correction, maybe get a few more mise en scene shots in the video too, and we will have a very strong music video. We only have a few days left to complete it, however with a productive and efficient group like I have, it should be fairly easy.

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Production Skills Evaluation 2

It is time to edit our video, we have gone out and shot, and now it’s all post production. Though I have done a bit of video editing before, I would definitely say that this music video is the most edited piece I have done. My partners and I have put all of the clips in order of what we want, and have been putting filters and effects on the video, to make it really stand out, and to also fit into our genre of alternative rock. I looked online to see some psychedelic and dreamy effects I could use, something to really get the audience asking about what they just saw, and got inspired to use several different effects to keep things interesting. Specifically, ghosting/echo effects and glitch effects.

I found out that using a ‘wave warp’ for about one frame made a glitch effect. From there, I played around with the ‘Wave Type’, and found that ‘Noise’ gives the best effect, so we stuck with that. We changed around the height, width, direction and speed of the glitch to keep each and every type different, making a few stand out by holding them for a few frames. We used pinning too to make sure the lines didn’t go off of the screen. The picture above shows how we used ‘Key Frames’ to up the distortion of our glitch, and also the details on the warp effect. The effects are most common when our ‘Masked men’ characters come into frame, and make the already creepy characters have a bit more substance to them, and things going on.

Colour correction is also a massive part of being an editor, as colours sometimes can make an average shot incredible by upping ‘exposure’, ‘contrast’ and highlighting certain colours. We used this colour grading to provide highlight our genre, as when you think alt rock, you think of blacks, dark greys, reds, oranges, and other aggressive colours. Therefore, I heightened the blacks in the performance shots. As we had multiple shoots, I also had to warm some shots up, as the light was colder in our second shoot in comparison to the first. The colour grading also was used in our glitch effect, as some glitches had colours, most red, blue or green, tricking the eye and providing constant visual stimulus, there is not a second to blink during our narrative story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had an industry professional come into the school, and teach us some production skills. He helped us tremendously, and gave us some feedback of our piece. He said that he liked our piece, and ‘wave warp’ glitches, however did tell us that we needed to upgrade our file organisation, which we agreed needed work on. Thus, we decided to reorganise our files. In addition, he taught us how to create duplicates of our sequences, so that we could make improvements as and when we needed without destroying what we had already created. One of an editors main requirements is to be extremely organised, and so this is very important. An organised folder structure saves hours for editing.

 

Overall, I believe that my team and I have learnt vast amounts about premier pro and editing over the past few weeks. From editing to the beat, to folder organisation, to lip syncing and colour correction. I have learn a lot of effects that are really easy, yet effective, and overall I am very happy with all that I have learnt throughout the weeks. I really have developed as a media creator, and have added new, innovative and useful tools to my arsenal as a media student!

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Music Video Draft 3

 

We have now finished our third draft of the music video. Now we have a full performance shoot and a full narrative shoot that have been edited together well. There is still editing left to be done however, and there are still problems in this despite how well edited and shot is mostly is. However, my group and I have been watching these same clips for weeks, so sometimes it is best to get an unbiased and new, fresh take on the video. For that reason, we have gotten peer feedback, other students watching our music video, telling us what does and doesn’t work.

One group gave us a lot of positives, including:

  • Good lip sync
  • Good energy
  • Well composed shots
  • Good video effects

However, there were a couple of suggestions including:

  • Shortening some of the clips – My group have agreed that this is 100% correct, and we have already started shortening clips to make the video move faster
  • More close ups of the drummer – Since we have two singers, I think we somewhat forgot about the drummer, we will put a few more clips in of him drumming away
  • More straight jacket shots – We have already agreed that this is also a problem, and we will be re-shooting to get a few more straight jacket shots.

 

This student also gave us some feedback, again agreeing with the first students feedback that we have good energy in the performance, also saying that there was good acting, bringing the role to life. However, she also agreed with the first that too many shots are held on for too long. She disagreed with the first, saying that whilst the glitch effect is cool and ‘very effective’, she argues that it has been overused, so we will have to decided amongst ourselves whether we should take a few of them out.

 

Our third comment is quite similar to the rest of them, however she did comment on the fact that she liked the early split-screen, various effects, techniques we used such as the ‘eye’ graphic match the performance and the ending. Again, we know where our strong suits are, and where to improve. We have decided to reshoot one stars performance.

Overall since draft 2, we have vastly improve, added important factors of the video in, and took edits that didn’t work out. Specifically we have improved by:

  • Adding in colour correction to make our performance more grungy looking
  • Adding effects to distort and confuse to catch the eye of the audience
  • Adding in more of a variety of angles and distances
  • Removing certain shots that didn’t work

However, we still have a lot to do, and this peer feedback has helped us a lot. Going forward, in re-shoots and editing, to get the best grade possible, we will have to:

  • Get a reshoot of Janis, and direct him to put more emphasis in his words, he needs to look like he knows and fully believes what he’s saying
  • We need to speed up the edit of the video in order to bring some speed and some rhythm to it
  • We need to add in transitions
  • We need to complete colour correction
  • Finally, we need to use more shots, as we have more shots, it would be a shame not to use them at least once

We now know where we need to improve, and thus now we know where we need to target in so that we can do all we need to improve and get the best possible marks.

 

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Feedback From Teacher

We have now made our second draft, and have added a mixture of narrative, and our performance shoots. It has been assessed as shown in the video above, and we will still need to improve the video. The main problems that were found with our draft 2 included:

  • The energy – A lot of shots were held on for too long, compared to most genres and videos, ours is the most fast paced, we need to be cutting quicker than we are, and putting more clips in there, and that is how we will improve, by getting more shots and cutting quicker.
  • The rap – One of the main problems was that there is a mixture of rap and rock, quite challenging but doable. The rap wasn’t to the camera, it wasn’t ‘in your face’ enough, and so we will need to reshoot this rap so we can fix these, we have agreed that more energy needs to be put into the rap, our star needs to look like he knows the exact words coming out of his mouth and absolutely believe them.
  • Shaky camera – This one is a small one, but a few shots are slightly shaky, we will use warp stabilizer to fix them.
  • Quality – I do not know what quality we exported or if it was watched at a lower quality, but it is easily fixable.
  • General – We will reshoot some shots, the masked men, me putting on the suit and myself struggling in the jacket will be the main re shoots, as we need to show these more than we do. In addition, the more of these shots we can get, the more material we can work with, and the shorter some of the dragging shots can be.

These are our biggest problems, however they are easily fixable, and they will hopefully be remedied by the upcoming drafts, this was a solid draft 2, and it can only get better from here, but we need to remember to fix these problems first.

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New PMA/Storyboards

 

Turns out that we did not get all of the shots that we needed in our original shoots, there were shots that we hadn’t thought about or planned for, and shots we didn’t get enough takes of. Therefore, we have had to make another shot list, and another production meeting agenda to get these needed shots. Therefore, again everybody will know what they are meant to be doing during this shoot, so it can be as efficient and useful as possible.

Again we have had to make a shot list so that we know what shots we need to get, in what angle/distance/composition, and what that shot will do for the overall video, and what it conveys to the audience (For example, an extreme long shot might convey isolation, whereas a POV shot will put us in a characters head, and allow us to sympathies with them. If this goes right, this will be the last shoot, these shots are just covering all of our bases, and giving us even more material to work with.

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Audience Ideologies

The main point of a business to to make money, and even in the media and music industry this holds up true. However, to make the most money possible, you need to understand your audience well, and encode messages and meanings that the audience can decode, and agree with, messages that align with their personal beliefs and values. You need to know your genre and its fan base, and so here I have done research looking into the possible fans of Alt rock, and specifically Linkin park. We went and researched using ‘YouGov’ the typical fan of Linkin Park, and as the pictures below show, according to YouGov, it tends to be:

  • Left leaning politically
  • Young females
  • Located in the North East of England

This makes sense, as Alt Rock was most popular in the early 2000’s, so these women were growing up with the genre. Don’t let the picture below fool you however, these are heavy and hard women that love partying and going wild! These women love all things alternative and heavy rock, from Green Day, to My Chemical Romance.

Knowing your audience is also important for other reasons other than just making money, those other reasons include:

  • Making sure you know what to change about your music, and what to keep the same so that the audience don’t reject the text
  • Knowing what new avenues might work, and what won’t
  • Knowing where to tour, and what type of people would be most likely to go and see you
  • Making sure that you don’t add any political messages into your work that the audience disagree with
  • Having the ability to know that if your audience changes, so should you

At the end of the day, there needs to be a balance between the business side of the industry and the creative side. Cash grabs are often rejected by the audience just as much as abstract and completely changed. It is important to know what your audience is like, and what they want so that you can have a good mix, and create a piece that will be generally accepted by audiences. If you create a music video that has right wing messages, and targeted for old working class men, the left wing young women that make up the majority of your fanbase won’t be able to relate, and will subsequently reject this video.

 

Blumer and Katz theorized, that media is created, and can be perceived for one or more of these four reasons:

  • Identity – For example reinforcing your left wing beliefs
  • Educate – For example learning about mental health and illnesses
  • Entertain – For example watching a story driven action music video that is exciting and thrilling to watch
  • Social Interaction – For example talking to your best friends about ‘Linkin Parks’ newest music video

If you don’t hit any one of these four reasoning in your piece of media, it will be rejected. Therefore, it is important to not only know who your audience is, and what they want from you, but why they want to watch your video. A music video for example, is more likely to be used for social interaction or entertainment reasons, but can in certain circumstances be used to reinforce identity, or educate yourself on a topic. Therefore, it is evident that there is a lot to consider in terms of audience’s expectations, what they want and why when making a piece of media.

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Music Video Draft 2: Includes Narrative

We have now shot and edited together both the narrative and the performance shoots, and have made a rough and quite basic draft with not much done to it. The basics and foundations are here tomorrow, and we do have some good elements going on here, there is definite potential for this to be an amazing video for example:

  • It is mostly lip synced (This still needs to be perfected)
  • It is edited well to the beat
  • There are a few advanced edits in there
  • There is a crescendo of faster cuts towards the end
  • Some of the visuals are very good, and that can only be improved the more we edit it

However, not too much else has been done to it, and as a somewhat experienced editor, having done a lot of editing before, I can clearly see that there is a lot to do here. Effects, filters and colour correction aren’t present here, and that needs to be gotten on as soon as possible. In addition, we still need to shoot a few things in extreme close up (As it would be hard to get another shooting day down at the bunker), and so my team and I still have a lot of work to do in the upcoming weeks, and need to get these effects and filters soon to see where else to improve.

 

 

 

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Production Skills Evaluation 1

So far, I have learnt a lot about music video’s and how to make them, and even though already being a film student, and therefore already having a vast knowledge of camera angles, distances and composition and what they mean, I have still learn a lot of production skills throughout the learning process. For example:

  • How to edit to the beat
  • How music stars are represented in music videos
  • How to lip sync
  • How important both predicted pleasures, but also new challenging ideas are
  • How to organise files
  • How to have a split narrative, having multiple things happen at the same time
  • General Advanced editing techniques such as the echo, kaleidoscope, or strobe light

We have now gone out and filmed both our narrative and performance, with me being the cinematographer of the performance piece, and actor in the narrative. My team mates and I have equally shared the workload, and have made it easier on ourselves because of this. Therefore, not only have I learnt technical skills, but also skills in teamwork, communication and leadership, as a lot of the time we would have to divide work between us, whilst I do one task, they do another, and I would have to trust that they would get on and do it. Not to my surprise this has worked out well, and contributing with others has made it easier than what it would have otherwise been.

This is my most advanced and detailed edit out of anything that I have done before, dozens upon dozens of clips are being used, merged and split up here, and so I need to use a lot of different effects, transitions and filters. To add to this, a few shots aren’t of the best quality, however are very good, and so the picture at the bottom for example, shows how I have layered and adjustment layers (Another skill I have learnt) to make a clip more crisp, and look higher quality. Therefore, I personally believe that I have learnt vast amounts about not only the industry of music videos, but also how to effectively work in a group, and compromise, and have enhanced and added to my already decent knowledge of premier pro.

 

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Shoot Evaluation (Narrative)

We have now gone out and done our shoot. We took a very ample amount of shots, more than we need, and we very commonly doubled up  with shots, allowing us a sort of safety net, just in case a shot is out of focus, or has no composition. We some decent mise en scene, especially with the straight jacket, as that was our crux of mise en scene. The characters were interesting, and well defined, and overall the shots were great. We spent hours getting these shots, and will only be able to use about a minute and a halfs worth, so we need to only choose the cream of the crop, only the greatest parts of the greatest shots can get into our video. Despite this, I do have some problems with the shoot, which include:

  • We didn’t get enough running shots
  • Some shots had shaky camera
  • Some shots were out of focus
  • We didn’t get many shots to end off the narrative
  • We could have got some more mise en scene shots

Despite that, as I shot all of the performance shots, I could not shoot anything at the narrative shoot, as it would be unfair to myself and my team, so although I had input on the shots, in essence, the majority of the shots weren’t my vision. I have faith that my team got some good shots, and a wide range of distances and angles however, and am very pleased with what we have, and am sure that we can get a good edit out of it. If we realize that we don’t have enough to work with, we can always get a few close ups, and put them in, and with a fast paced song with lots of energy like ours, this might be the case, however what we do have so far has been quality, and I am happy with the overall effort that we have put in, and product we have gotten out.