This post looks at some of the ideas and conventions that we need to implement into our product if we really want our target audience to be fulfilled and have the ultimate user experience. I did this by creating a profile of our perfect audience member using information that me and my group gathered from YouGov on Blossoms; the band we made a music video fors video.
After completing this piece of analysis, it has refreshed me on the demographics and psychographics that are key to creating a piece of media that will be perfectly suited to our target audience. For my group, it meant being given a new understanding of the conventions of the indie pop/rock genre that we can integrate into our video before the deadline so as to make sure that it is as high quality as we can make it to satisfy our audience.
Looking into the future, it will not only help me polish up my music video, but it will also serve as an aid for the creation of my Digipak, which involves using the conventions we have already explored as well as new ones that we have found during the produciton of our music video.
By this point we are getting very close to having finished the final draft for our music video, with the video below as the fourth draft we have produced so far of the song Charlemagne by Blossoms. In this one we have worked on making changes based on the YouTube comments posted on the last draft as well as some of our own.
What have we changed in the most recent draft?
We learnt how to use a cropping tool which has the effect of splitting the screen so that you can have two different shots playing either side in shot. It also means that we can save space on the timeline where we want to focus on performance and narrative at the same time so we don’t have to place one shot after another which could be taken up by a shot that might better the narrative instead.
To try and fix our problem of having a complicated narrative, we removed some of the shots from the video. We replaced these with some performance shots of the rest of the band/stars. By having less narrative shots it meant we couldn’t add us many visual effects over it either, furthemore helping to make our video/narrative more easily understood.
We made sure to have a shot introducing each one of the band members at the start to appeal to the social interaction aspects of the Blumler&Katz theory of uses and gratification.
Some of the comments from the Audience Feedback are:
The narrative was still hard to understand at times, which ruins the story.
We use a nice range of edits which helps to meld the performance and narrative together well.
The end is confusing as the singer doesn’t go anywhere after leaving the microphone behind.
Some shots are off center which ruins the quality of the video, consequently lowering the chance that the viewer will watch the rest of the video.
How can we improve our video from here?
I noticed that the guitar at the start isn’t synced with the audio very well, so I would like to make a small edit to theis to improve the continuity.
I would also like to try and further remove some of the blur in the dye shots.
I also feel as if the zoom on the fish bowl at 2:02 should be slightly slower so the viewer has more time to see what is happening in the shot.
I would like to try and remove the shaking at 1:00 in with the bowl shot to make the shot as easy to understand as possible.
We should also try and fix the off-centered shots as this impacts the emmersion of some shots because of the fish bowl for instance, being just off center which diverts the viewers eyes away from the real meat of the video. This could be done by zooming in on the shot a tiny bit so you have some extra material outside of the shot that would allow you to move the shot sideways slightly.
We also need to address the point that was raised in the feedback of the final shot of the singer which could easily be replaced by another shot of him from a different angle.
Teacher suggested improvements:
Create the split between performance and narrative 50/50.
Use colour correction to make the grey paint more prominent to add more understanding.
Fix/replace the shot at 1:21 which is out of focus.
Make the head nodding on the beat slightly earlier for a greater effect that correlates with the sound.
More close-ups of the band members.
Change the sequencing of the fish bowl shots so that there isn’t one of the fish bowl without the dye in after we have already showed the artist putting dye in.
Try and implement a close-up of the spoon going in/ pouring liquid in.
Have a shot where we cut to a close-up of the artists face at the beginning to create some intimacy/social interaction between the viewer and the star.
Two locals who work for the Specsavers Creative Team came to our school named Lenny and Elliott to give us some feedback on the current draft of our music video. This will be very helpful in improving our own work as these two guys use the same software in their own work in a well respected business in the trade. This suggests they have very good knowledge of media production that we could use.
The warp stabilizer effect was one that Elliott showed us how to apply properly so that we could have minimal shaking in some of the shots that have it present. This will make the video easier to understand for the viewer because their eyes wont have to adjust to the framing of the shot as much.
Something that both Lenny and Elliott specified in their analysis was that we need to make sure that we stick to using two or three effects repeatedly throughout the video instead of going ham with them as it makes the narrative very hard to understand at some points. This therefore clouds the meaning we are trying to convey to the viewer with the video rendering it useless.
Another skill that Elliott taught us was to make ‘bins’ in premiere which are essentially folders that you can deposit audio and video files into to reduce the clutter in the media browser making it more organised.
One point that Lenny made was that he struggled to make sense of our narrative which is a point that was prominent in the comments we received on our third draft, which suggests that we should really work on this in the next draft.
Lenny also showed us how to nest shots together that have an adjustment layer/visual effect on them to keep the timeline organised and easily understood.
Above you can see a couple of YouTube videos giving tutorials on visual effects that we might be able to use in our next draft of the music video.
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.
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 adraft 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.
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
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.
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.
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 successfulshots that helped us create the polishedperformanceshoot 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 editedverywell, 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.
Below this chunk of text, you will find an embedded riskassessment 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 ValeCastle, a local stone castle that currently serves as a tourist destination.
The reason we have actually created the risk assessment, is to track what hazardsarepresent 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.