Critical Reflection 01

Our music video is based on the song Try and the overarching message which we are trying to present is that “true identity brings the most happiness”.

Our music video follows the common convention that it is illustrative and contains both narrative and performance. Although our music video is cross cutting throughout, both parts are expressing the same message.

Our performance part of the shoot is our artist. At the beginning she is shown to be outside, with no make up and is relaxed and quite happy in herself. However as the video progresses, she becomes trapped in a dark room and becomes dulled up with makeup. The emotion she expresses becomes less happy and the paparazzi shots we used really helps to show this dislike of life at this time. We used a dip to white transition and a fast cutting speed to create the look of paparazzi. The use of the jacket covering herself up and the actions of hiding her face expresses how unhappy and trapped she is by this life. We decided on showing this narrative through our star as it helps to show the huge issue that in the modern world, famous individuals are surrounded by the media and are pressured into presenting themselves in a certain way all of the time. They are quite often very unhappy just to present their star image in a certain way.

The other half of our music video is using two girls. We decided that it was important to use the “average normal person” so that our audience could relate to the message we are expressing. At the beginning, the girls are shown to be very unhappy and are dulled up in makeup and hair however as the video progresses, they become their natural self and are shown to be much happier. The use of the extreme make up and hair at the beginning emphasises the fact that people dress a certain way to show themselves however in actual fact does this really make you happy? No. We used a white studio setting for this narrative as it adds to the feeling of happiness as white is a bright colour and links to the positive feeling. Again this message we are expressing is very real in modern society. So many people wear thick faces of make up due to the pressure of having to look a ‘perfect’ way but being yourself is what really matters and is important.

In conclusion, we really hope that we have been able to express the message of “true identity brings the most happiness” as it is a very powerful message that shows our audience that you really don’t need to hide behind something false. Being yourself is the most important thing and will bring the most happiness in the long run.

Music Video Draft 3

Using the feedback we had received from both Specsavers, Mr Gregson and our personal improvements we thought needed to be made, we have constructed a draft 3.

Overall I am really happy with how this draft has gone. I think the constructive feedback we received has helped benefit it massively.

Things we have improved:

  • One of the biggest changes we have made was that we have transferred the clips of them taking off their make up and hair to later on in the video. Before hand, it was about one third through the music video however now it is just after the half way mark. This has improved our video massively in that we are now seeing the girls in full faces of make up and hair for longer. This helps to impact our audience and show them how unhappy they were. Having the transformation happen later also reduces the amount of clips of them bare faced and hair down. Initially there were quite a few of these clips and it was starting to become quite repetitive however now we have changed this it is much more engaging for the audience.
  • At the beginning of the video, it initially started with A long shot of our star however we have now swapped the first two clips so that it starts with a close up of her face. This has improved our music video as it is a much more powerful shot and helps to engage with the audience and draw in their attention.
  • We have taken the lense flare away as it was a bit random and was causing too much light on her face. Now it has been taken away, it fits in with the rest of our clips to show continuity.
  • The end clip of the blinking eye has been extended to last longer. This enables the impact of how unhappy the star is to last, creating much more emotion.
  • We have added cross dissolve transitions on the overview clips of Tegan becoming dulled up in makeup. This cross dissolve helps to show the transition from one clip to the other and emphasizes the message of how stars have to change the way they present themselves.
  • We have added a wipe transition between the clips of Anya and Chloe from them being dulled up to their natural self. This wipe transition acts like a make up wipe taking off their makeup and helps to express the change from one clip to the other.
  • We have also added the cross dissolve transitions on the outdoor clips of our star. This helps to create a flowing and calm atmosphere showing the happiness and relaxed ambiance she is feeling in those scenes.

Things we need to improve:

  • We are going to add some filters to the music video to show an Instagram styled look and help express the narrative of having to express yourself in a certain way; just like people do on social media. For Tegan, this filter will build up as the video progresses in sync with her putting the makeup on and for the “normal girls” the filter will decrease as the video progresses to match them taking off their make up and letting their hair down.
  • We could possibly look at adding more transitions in places that may need them. This will help to keep our audience engaged in the video.
  • We may need to alter the exposure and whites in certain areas to really pop some of the colours and make the background a bit brighter. This will again benefit the music video and possibly add to the Instagram styled look.

Teacher Feedback – screen castify

After constructing our draft 2, Mr Gregson did a screen castify to show his feedback on our music video. Below is the screen castify and I have summarised the key points of what he likes and suggestions for improvements.

 

Positives:

  • Lovely footage that  is in focus and well lit
  • Perfect lip-syncing
  • Clear narrative
  • Great use of mise en scene with the make up, hair and mirror as a prop
  • Lovely close ups and angles. He really likes the extreme close up of the eyes
  • Small details such as blinking in time with the music
  • Good comparison cuts near the end
  • Good use of the black and white filter
  • Likes the split screen

Things to be improved:

  • Possibly make the taking the make up off and letting the hair down later on in the middle. Maybe at the half way mark or just after.
  • Switch the clips at the beginning so that it starts with a close up of our star.
  • Possibly make some of the clips a bit shorter to add a bit more variety
  • Switch the clips of Anya at 2:16 so that it goes from a mid shot to the close up rather than the other way around
  • The lense flare nearer the end is a bit bright so either move it to a different position on the screen or take it away.
  • Lovely ending but make it last longer. Don’t fade it out so quick.

Overall we are really happy with the feedback we have been given. We will now work on our music video and use the constructive feedback to build on it and make it even better. One of the main changes that we will use is making the transition when they take off their makeup and hair later on in the video. This will impact our music video in that it will enable the full make up to be seen longer and hopefully impact our audience and emphasise how unhappy the people are at that point in time. We will also switch some of the clips around so that it goes from a longer shot to a close up. This will also create more impact as it is going into our models rather than backing away.

Music Video Draft 2

Below is our draft two of our music video. It now includes both our performance and narrative shoot.

What went well:

  • We are now very happy with our lip syncing. The timings are working very well and it looks as though our star is really singing.
  • We have parallel edited our narrative and performance so that there is a good mix of both throughout.
  • You can clearly see the message that we are trying to tell because of this cross cutting and you can see the progression of our star putting on the makeup and the girls taking it off as the music video moves on.

What we need to do:

  • We need to add filters to our music video to add to the full make up look and Instagram effect that we aim to achieve. For the performance side, the filter will be made more as the music video progresses to show how stars have to present themselves in a certain way. For the narrative side, the beginning will be where the filter is strongest and the end will be the most normal to show how we shouldn’t have to hide behind make up and hair to be happy.
  • We need to add transitions to make the cuts between clips smoother and more flowing. For example there is a section where we show Anya and Chloe from their full makeup look to their complete natural state so we will add a transition here to blend these two clips together to show the transition from one extreme to the other.

Specsavers Feedback

During the production of our music video, Lenny (a professional in editing from Specsavers) came and had a look at our music video and gave his feedback on it. Overall, it was all very positive. He really liked the concept of our music video and was impressed at the quality of the film that we had gotten. He also told us that the way we had constructed our narrative and performance filming together was well done.

During our time with Lenny, it was very useful as he showed us how we could apply adjustment layers to our music video to add a filter to a group of cuts. He showed us a way of adding multiple without effecting all of our film. In addition to this, he also showed us how we could gradient it throughout to make it increase/decrease as the music video went on. This is by using something called key frames in the opacity setting. He showed us how to adjust the colour curves to create the filtered look. He altered the blue which definitely created a look that we liked and will apply. This was really useful for me and Zoe to learn as it is going to make it so much easier to add filters to our clips to create the “Instagram” styled look we want to achieve. Being able to gradient it is also extremely useful as we want to show our models getting less made up and our star more made up as the video progresses.

As well as showing us how to add filters to our music video in adjustment layers, he also showed us how we can arrange our workspace so it is more organised and easy to access what we need. This is useful as it makes our lives so much easier when adding new clips in.

 

Shoot 2 Reflection (Narrative)

Overall, we are very happy with how our narrative shoot went. We shot in the white studio using our models Chloe and Anya. We shot them all natural (no makeup and hair down), then with full make up and hair and then also them removing it and letting their hair down. We managed to film all of this using lots of different angles and techniques.

POSITIVES FROM OUR SHOOT:

  • We managed to use lots of different camera angles which will add interest and excitement to our music video.
  • We managed to add lots of movement when filming such as panning and zooms. We did this using hand held.
  • The mise en scene of the make up and hair worked really well. The glitter which we used under the eyes was very effective in the videos.
  • The white tops which we asked them to wear worked really well as it allows full attention from our audience to be focused on their hair and makeup.
  • We got lots of clear film with good lighting. The use of soft box lights helped us with this.

NEGATIVES FROM OUR SHOOT:

  • A few pieces of film were not completely in focus. Fortunately it was only the odd few so we still have lots of quality film to work with.
  • When doing the panning, we used the camera as hand held. In the future, we could use a track to do this to make the footage even steadier.

Video Narrative Story sheets

Before our narrative shoot, we made story board sheets with what we wanted to show at each stage of our narrative and the type of shots that we aim to get at each stage. In scene one, you can see that our models are dulled to the nine with makeup and their hair is neat and also done up. They are quite unhappy. However this contrasts to the final scene where their hair is down and they have natural/no make up at all. They are happy and seem more free and relaxed. This mise en scene helps to portray the message that being your true identity brings the most happiness.

Through our narrative, we want to impact our audience and teach them that being true to yourself is the most important and that hiding behind a false identity does not bring you happiness. With the use of “ordinary” people, we hope that our audience can relate to the people featured in our music video, making it seem more intimate and more personal. This way our message will be more directed and hopefully create more of an impact as it is personal cinematography. In the modern world, it is seen as very normal to wear thick makeup and have to ‘dress to impress’ however does this really bring true happiness? Having to make yourself look a certain way can be so tiring and it is just hiding yourself. We want to express how important it is that being yourself is what matters and that you shouldn’t be judged by the way you look.