After some time and consideration I didn’t feel satisfied with my previous music video idea, and after listening to more music came across a song that I have a lot more ideas for and could execute better as a result.
This song is Touch-Tone Telephone by Lemon Demon, presenting a story of a conspiracy theorist and his attempts to be featured on a paranormal-themed radio show with his discoveries. This distinct and unique story provides a lot of potential as a video and, without a pre-existing video from the artist, I feel would be a good opportunity for the project.
In beginning to look towards making a music video it was important that I chose a song and established some ideas of how I could present it.
The song I have chosen for this is Ghosting by Mother Mother; I chose this because I feel that the song has a clear and unique narrative in the lyrics, with distinct themes throughout, as well as not being too mainstream or recognisable so as to not risk being immediately compared to a viewer’s previous knowledge of the song.
To help practice working with green screen and filming facilities our class visited a high quality filming studio. Here, we were demonstrated how the green screen is set up and used, as well as how the different cameras and tripods are set up.
Some of the main points of consideration I took away from this visit were;
To consider the spacing and framing when using a green screen, making sure there is sufficient green space around your subject (even if the whole frame isn’t green this can be cropped later in editing)
Think about coloured lighting, whilst you may want specific coloured lighting effects for your video you need to take into consideration how this may impact the green, if the colour is too strong it could make the green sheet appear a different colour and cause issues when editing it out later
Also in terms of lighting, if using a black screen rather than a green screen (also an available option with this studio) it is advised you only use a simple spotlight in the centre, not allowing light to reach the walls of the room, this means that any background will not be picked up on camera and the black void-like image you want is more easily achieved. Even if you’re worried about the subject seeming a little too dark as a result of this, you can still brighten the image later in editing.
Before starting production of my own music video it was important to reflect on previous videos that former students have made, gaining inspiration and getting a better idea of what is achievable within our school.
After looking over a range of music videos, I have found I particularly like this one;
Whilst this video definitely isn’t perfect and has it’s flaws, I still find it one of the most personally engaging videos from the former student videos I’ve seen. As well as the generally impressive special effects created considering this is a student video, I find that the overall energy of the song is conveyed really well though the fast pacing of the cuts, editing to the best, and enthusiasm of the actors, clearly enjoying the action and not holding back when performing (seen best in the close-up performance/dance shots). This energy is also conveyed through the bright vibrant colours in their costumes and make-up and successful fight choreography, presenting the characters as bold individuals and fitting with the fantasy, video-game-like style seen throughout. The even divide of narrative and performance in the video also allows me as a viewer to feel a lot more invested in the song and enjoy the experience much more as I never become bored of what’s on screen.
From our initial video analysis, we were then given two more videos to analyse in more detail;
Katy Perry – Chained to the Rhythm
The Foo Fighters – The Pretender
From doing this exercise I can now better identify the finer details when analyzing the conventions music videos, the many ways themes can be presented and how lyrics can work side-by-side with visuals in different ways. These are all useful points to recognize when it comes to planning and producing my own video.
As a class we were asked to watch four individual music videos shown to us by our teacher and use them to reflect on the conventions and techniques, such as lip sync and edit-to-the-beat, used in the industry;
This allowed us to gain a better understanding of what is conventional, as well as showing the different ways in which lyrics can be presented, whether the video consists more of performance or narrative, and whether the narrative itself is illustrative, amplified or disjunctive, as these can all have an impact on how the video is received as a whole.