Production Skills Evaluation 2

During the editing process of the groups first finished draft of the full music video, I have learnt lots of new production skills that help to increase workflow as well as adding more meaning/understanding to the video. Below you can see some detailed descriptions of the skills I have learnt as well as some snipping tooled images  showcasing these skills.

Sorting our Shots

Lenny & Elliott that work creating adverts for Specsavers locally came in and showed our group how to create ‘bins’ to help remove some of the clutter from our media browser. Bins are essentially folders which you can give names to put different shots in to make them more organised to help increase workflow, in our case being called ‘Rushes’ and ‘Sequences’. Rushes being raw shots and sequences being actually compiled strings of film.

Removing the Shaking from our Draft

Elliott helped us reduce some of the shaking that our camera had even whilst on a tripod by using the Warp Stabilizer effect. We dragged the effect over the shot that had shaking and let it apply it which took a minute or two, with the impacts being that there is no noticeable shaking of the camera. This means that our product appears as being more professional and high quality to how it was before.

Changing the Characteristics of the Effect

We discovered that we could change the many different characteristics of each effect which meant we could now change the position of the effect at different points or have it consistently moving from one place to another in the video by using the keyframe feature. We could also change things such as the opacity of the effect so that you could still see what was going on behind the effect which could be used to create interesting transitions or flashbacks.

Colour Correction

After applying a n adjustment layer as shown by Lenny, we looked at using the Lumetri Colour tab as a means to add or remove colour to shots by changing the different sliders on the different sub-selections of the window. The vignette feature in particular was very useful in helping us creating the illusion in a shot of everything around a fish bowl going more monochrome as the bowl stays the same colour, adding another layer of understanding to the shot.

What went well?

  • I think that one thing that went very well is the efficiency at which we pumped out the second draft, with us all taking turns to do some editing we got it done very fast, on top of having to balance doing the rest of the blog posts we needed to do.Camera stability means that we have to take time applying warp stabilizers which renders us unable to edit ay other part of the video.
  • We have managed to replace shots that we had in the performance draft which were not synced up or didn’t really fit in with those from the narrative shoot which has a resulted in a higher quality, more interesting video.
  • We have started to use video effects to create a more vibrant video which adds another layer of meaning for the audience to decode, generating a substantial overall improvement to the video.

What could have gone better?

  • We had to spend time nesting lots of different sequences so that we were able to apply the Warp Stabilizer effect, which meant we were constrained for time to complete other tasks in lessons.
  • We had to apply a warp stabilizer because of the fact that the camera shakes a lot, this meant that we had to spend lots of time waiting for the warp stabilizer to finish rendering the new footage. We could have avoided this by making sure that before we actually took the shot we started filming so the camera had time to stop shaking under the influence of us touching it.

A Lil bit of Feedback from the Teacher

Above you can see the ‘Screencastify’ that we got one of our teachers to create where they analyse the second draft of our music video (the first that includes the narrative shoot). Here is a short paragraph summarising the feedback that she gave:

The teacher; Mrs Cobb made it very obvious that she thought we need a much larger array of different types of shots at the start of the video to hook the viewer in more, getting more shots of the entire band at the start of the video for example to give the audience a better idea of who is playing what in the song. The teacher also commented on the fact that quite a few of our shots are out of place and could be re-ordered and had their duration’s increased or shortened to make them fit in more with the rest of the video. Along with this, the teacher enlightened us to the knowledge that we could add some form of colour correction to the video to enhance the idea that the main stars face is getting darker in colour as the narrative progresses. One small final thing is that we could make the performance shots shorter or try not to repeat the same shots over and over again for parts of the song such as the chorus where we have the guitar playing the same three chords every time.

How will we act on this feedback?

  • We can crop down and edit in more shots of the entire band at the start of the video. It is important that we remove/crop some other shots though to make sure that we are not overloading the video with content at the same time however.
  • Some of our shots could be made more relevant by speeding the pace up a bit, particularly with our performance shoot which which could be done by shortening some of the shots making room for more narrative and therefore more room for understanding.
  • We will look at the shots towards the end of the video which show the model getting grey face paint on him and evaluating whether we should apply a mono filter of sorts. However this would need to be gradual and not sudden to create the idea that the process of the models inner turmoil is increasing slowly through the song.
  • We will definitely shorten the duration of some of the performance shots to not only to give the affect of the performance being faster paced than the narrative, but to make more room for more unique performance shots that are not seen at other points in the music video to make it more interesting, keeping the audience hooked.

That’s the Second Draft out the way…

After going out for the narrative shoot, we now have a finished draft which has both the performance, and the narrative in it which means we now have a much more ‘completed’ draft/video so we don’t have to stress as much about completing our final draft before the deadline. We have also tried to order the clips so that they are in line with the storyboard we made previously to outline the structure of the narrative so it would be easier to edit once we got the footage into premiere, contrasting with our performance which we relied on a visual shot list for.

The things that I feel went great with this draft are:

  • The narrative covers the same themes in the lyrics which we planned in advance using our narrative storyboard, while also making sure we differ the content slightly to create the disjunctive narrative that we wanted to use to help create a deeper meaning for the audience to unpick.
  • A large variety in angles of shots meant that contrary to our performance shoot, we can focus more attention on a certain aspect of a shot by showing different angles of that specific moment having the specific object you are getting different angles on in shot every time the angle changes.
  • For the majority of the shots excluding the fish bowl clips, we have a large variation of shots using different framing which helps to give another perspective to the video as well as the constantly changing framing drawing the viewers eyes to a certain point in the shot, ignoring the negative space.
  • The mise-en-scene stayed consistent between both the narrative and performance for the lead singer/model, which is what I personally worried about getting right to make sure that there wasn’t any confusion over whether they were the same person for the audience.

What didn’t go so well and how could we improve on these aspects?

  • Some of the shots were very shaky which because of the fact we didn’t leave the camera to stabilize after letting go of it after starting filming. However in a future draft we could use an preset visual effect from the search bar to reduce this or even completely remove the shaking from some shots, creating a cleaner, more professional music video.
  • The pace of our video is a bit off, with some events happening faster than others instead of having a gradual buildup which looks good from the outset, but in reality the audience needs to stay hooked through the entire video and not just at the start. We could fix this by moving some of the shots to later on in the video to string the narrative out a bit more or even adding some extra shots however this may infer more of an illustrative feel instead of an amplified/disjunctive one.
  • Looking back at it, there is a lack of shots presenting the whole band at the start of the video which I think we need on the performance side as a form of establishing shot to give the audience an introduction to who makes all the sounds in the song.

Aside from these small things that we might be able to change, I feel as if our music video is going in a great direction, with us still having lots of time to pump out a draft or two more before the deadline. It also means we can make sure we cleanup anything else that we might find that we want to change to create a finalised video that we are proud of.

The very First Production Skills Evaluation!

After editing the first draft of our music video, using  only the performance shoot, I can definitely say that I have learnt a great deal of new skills that have aided me in helping produce the video. Some of the most notable skills I have learnt would be:

List View

  • List view helps a lot because it means you can view every shot/rush you have in a more compact space so you can see more on the screen, making it easier to navigate and find the shot you want based on the name helping to increase workflow.

Adding New Tracks

  • Adding new tracks instead of using one to clip every shot into has helped massively as it means that I can layer different shots on top of each other as copies if I want to put an effect on a shot, so that if I don’t actually like the effect I put on I can simply delete the one above the real shot so that I don’t have to re-edit the shot again.

Extending Shot Length

  • Being able to extend the length of already edited shots and clips once you have put them into a sequence has been of great use to me in the creation of the first draft. It means that if I crop a shot down to where I think I want it/is perfect in my eyes, I can drag the end of the shot a bit longer at the end which adds more of the shot onto the end of the cropped clip. This means that it is easy to amend mistakes in shot duration.

Razor Tool

  • The razor tool has been used a lot in the first draft which makes it one of my top skills. It has meant that I can experiment with using different effects for different time frames of a particular shot as well as meaning I can split a shot up into different pieces to be moved to other parts of a sequence, even after it has been implemented into a sequence.

What went well huh?

  • We managed to find enough shots to be able to fill up the entire draft with extras left which meant we were able to implement extra shots to add more variation to our video creating a more interesting and meaningful user experience.
  • The lip syncing of our video was very well done, which we put extra effort into make sure we got nice and well polished right from the start of our editing to save us more time for when we got to our second and third drafts where we had another shoot to juggle.

What could have gone a little bit better?

  • If we synced the actual instruments up a tiny bit better in some of the shots it would make the video easier to follow/understand, however we could also get over this in future drafts by adding effects to accompany the shot to make it more obvious where certain instruments are more prominent than others.
  • We could have included a couple more close-ups of the lead singer as these are very sparse in the first draft and I think that if we incorporated more of these it would help to add further meaning that would be conveyed via facial expression in the video.


Narrative Shoot Evaluation

Now we have finally finished our narrative shoot that is to accompany our performance, I can definitely say that despite some small hiccups, however we still managed to overcome them and come out with footage that me and my group were pleased with and proud of.

While still in class, we decided that we would need to film our narrative in two different locations as we had planned to use one of the people in my group; Alex’s fish for a couple of shots in the shoot. However it was going to be very difficult to take his fish all the way to the castle 15 minutes away that we had originally chosen to shoot in, so we decided to take the shoot to his house for the first 30 minutes so that there was no chance of the fish getting injured.

We came across the dilemma of who was going to be bringing what to the shoot, as well as how we were getting to the location, which we overcame by taking time the previous day allocating who was to bring which props and how we were going to manage our time to get to the location on time.

We also decided that we needed to control the mise-en-scene very well so that the model looked as close to how he did in the performance shoot, bearing in mind that he was set to be in both performance and narrative wearing the same costume.

Pros of our shoot:

  • Considering the setback of getting a camera with the wrong battery, we managed our time well considering how much time we had left at the end after filming all the shots we wanted/needed.
  • The framing of our shots was very good, with us making sure we got different mid-shots/close-ups at different angles in order to give a larger understanding.
  • The model managed to keep his mise-en-scene incredibly consistent between in both shoots making the link between the two characters more realistic and believable.
  • We captured a variety of shots that would mean we have lots of extra shots that we could use once we got to editing the shoot into the video if we changed our mind about the structure of the video after we had done the shoot.

The Cons of our shoot:

  • Because we hadn’t checked the camera that we had been given completely, it meant that we didn’t notice the fact the battery in the camera was for a completely different camera. This meant that once we got to the first location we realised we had the wrong one and had to return to school to get a new battery/camera, wasting time
  • There was some problems with the camera shaking however we may well be able to change this in after-effects.
  • In a couple of the shots there is a noticeable scratch on the lens of the camera which was hard to see in the preview of the camera so we only noticed it once we had uploaded the footage to a computer. This could remove some of the immersion and professionalism of the video

This is my Narrative Storyboard

You can see our narrative storyboard above. This has been a massive help in giving us a better understanding of how we are going to structure our narrative and know what angles to shoot so we can save time. It also allows us to mix and match all of the post-its around if we feel as if one shot should come later in the narrative so we can make sure the shots are ordered in a way that creates the most meaning.

Our groups narrative has been influenced by Todorovs narrative theory of which means it has to have 5 different stages that it goes through, overall helping to create a high quality, polished music video. These stages are:

  • Equilibrium: everything seems normal at the start of the narrative.
  • Disruption: causes the equilibrium to become unstable.
  • Recognition: needs to be recognised to for them to try and…
  • Repair: the damage that has been caused, allowing them to…
  • Restore: a completely new equilibrium in the narrative.

Our Narrative Development

As a group we created a extended step outline (development) sheet for our narrative, to get a general idea of how much we have planned for the narrative, and what we might be missing out. This sheet can be seen below, which details the characters, key structure, mise-en-scene and location, models, and subject matters and questions that are asked of the narrative.

Performance Rough Cut

My group and I have pieced together a performance rough cut for our music video; Charlemagne by Blossoms that you can see embedded below this line of text.

My own Self Assessment

  • In my opinion the shoot was very successful, with lots of successful shots that helped us create the polished performance shoot that we wanted to accompany our narrative in Premiere Pro. While there are times in the video such as 2:21 where we couldn’t find any more footage that we saw suitable for the ending of the song, and therefore just pasted in some drumming footage which isn’t synced up particularly well, we know that we can replace this with narrative footage once we have it.
  • Other than that I think that the syncing of the music with the video was edited very well, particularly at points such as 1:45 and 0:53 seconds in.
  • The individual performance of the lead singer in my opinion was phenomenal, with impeccable lip syncing and at the same time having a very vibrant body language. The guitarist similarly stayed very synced with music, especially at key parts where the guitar was very prominent in the song such as 1:11 in. The drummer also did a fantastic job at playing his instrument considering he had to tone down how loud he was playing so that the rest of the models could hear the music. The keyboard player also managed to stay in time for the majority of the video, specifically at 2:02.
  • We managed to capture shots from a variety of distances as well which helped to create different meanings as well as to focus the camera on different things that we wanted to be noticed at different points in the video. For instance at 1:12 in, you see a close-up of the guitarist that ‘focuses’ on him for the three chords before it switches back to a close-up of the singer when it goes back to them.

Some Targets for Improvement:

  • Make sure that there isn’t any objects in frame in future shoots that would impact the continuity of the video making it look less professional and meaning we have less material.
  • Check shots on the preview after taking them to make sure that there isn’t anything that we could have done to make the shot better. For example making sure the lighting is consistent through each shot.
  • I would try and improve the syncing of the lead singers lips with the music as much as possible to make it look as realistic as it possibly could.
  • Looking back at the shots we did get, we didn’t actually get that many close-ups or extreme close-ups of the model acting as the lead singer which could be very helpful in patching out some of these spots where nothing is really happening in the video.

Here is the Testament to our Risk Assessment

Below this chunk of text, you will find an embedded risk assessment from Google Docs for the narrative shoot that is taking place on Thursday 20th June at two different places. The first one is at one of the members of my groups house; Alex, and the second at Vale Castle, a local stone castle that currently serves as a tourist destination.

The reason we have actually created the risk assessment, is to track what hazards are present while filming at both locations so we can find out how we can control them in advance of reaching the venues. This will help to save us time so that when we get there we won’t have to spend as much time working out where we can and cannot shoot.

My Narrative Production Meeting Agenda has Arrived!

As a group we manufactured a PMA for the narrative shoot that we are doing on the 20th June 2019 which is serving as an amazing aid in recognising the props and mise-en-scene, that will be useful when organising what we need to bring with us to the shoot. It also details where the shoot is going to take place and who our model/s are as well as some things we need to make sure we avoid to make an overall more polished video, and emergency phone numbers for the people in our shoot in case anything goes wrong.

This PMA can be seen below in the form of a Google Doc that you can click on to view in a separate tab if you so choose to.

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