Thursday, 10 December 2009

Vicky Pearce Evaluation Music Video

Evaluation for music video:

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

When we first got the track to create our music video, we wanted to put our own intake on to what we can create and have something different and unique. The type of band we chose was a very hippy and Indy, which would use the conventions of bright lights, unusual settings, and strange props, fun and closes ups of an artist or band. Where a stereotypical hippy indie boy band is bands such as ‘Weatus’ and ‘ JLS’, we didn’t want to create an image of this we wanted to break the usual conventions of having strobe lighting and good looking males. We went against voyeuristic where we decided not to use beautiful ladies dancing half naked or on the other hand males showing off their bodies and figures, videos such as ‘JLS –Beat Again’ and ‘Alex Gaudino Feat. Christal Waters - Destination Calabria’. We wanted to chanallage conventions and as it would use a very strange scenario into a normal everyday situation, and for it to be a unique and fun music video compared to others.
By looking at previous work of Harvey Danger we decided that we didn’t want to do a boy band performance, they hardly ever do a boy band performance but they do like to have shots of them performing as a band, you can see this in their video ‘Harvey Danger - Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo’.So we have decided to stick to simple and classic shots of the artist.
Too balance out how we broke conventions we have decided to create a strong relationship between visuals and lyrics as shown in Goodwin’s Analysis. For example in our music video we have used “looking into the mirror” and we have then used the artist and the bear both looking into the mirror to begin with, we also used another pay on word where they say “cz i am in hell” and there is the bear sitting and relaxing in a punting boat, which obviously suggests that he is not in hell. This example also pays on the idea of that the artist/bear is crazy and mad.
We have tried to meet all the demands of the record label, by having a variety of shot ranging from extreme close ups to panning shots to show the location. We also after our rough cut added a lot more of the male artist singing to make sure he had enough coverage of the music video.
We have also used a lot of intertextuality by trying to refer some props and locations to very well known movies such as ‘Forest Gump’, ‘Star Wars’ ‘Toy Story’ and ‘ Singing in the rain’. We did this by using the superman cape on the artist, the light saber, eye patch, sword and then the stop motion toy soldiers. We created similar clips to relate to ‘Forest Gump’ by having the bear sitting on the bench meeting new people, and to relate to ‘Singing in the rain’ we had the bear swinging on a lamppost as gene Kelly does. One main intertextuality we have tried to link it to is ‘Peep Show’ they use comedy and fun elements throughout their series, and we have tried to create that in our video, and now they use the song as its theme tune.
I think by purposely breaking some of the conventions it really helped us to create a unique and fun music video that would suit most of the audiences.

2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

When creating our ancillary tasks we tried not to create an obvious link from the products to our music video, because we didn’t want to just focus on the track but we wanted to sell the whole album to the target audience. On the other hand we wanted to use strong links to integrate the two products together, such as the hippy flower which is very bright and colourful and eye catching to stand out for the audience. In each of the products we also used footprints on the ancillary products, which we thought would create a simple link to the song “flagpole sitter” by how we used the bear in the song. The text we decided to use we tried to connect it to the style of genre of the song, i think it brings a slight rock element to it which links it towards the music video. We also used silhouettes in the poster to show that there is a band in place but because the broke up we didn’t want to add in any faces, and didn’t want to focus on just the main singer. The title “Problems and bigger ones” gives a small link to why we have the road and why it is bending behind and with the sign saying “bend ahead”, we thought that it gives the audience a link to the problems that they have had as a band, by splitting up etc and they have more to come. When looking for research on the band we found that NME found the band “indivuall and fresh” which gives us a good insight to the band and that they were very well known and unique. I think we have created a very unique and memorable style for the band, and that the audience would easily remember it, i think we did this by using very basic and bold colours and also having the element of black and white. When doing further research we found that our digi pack relates to Harvey Dangers actual old products that they have created, very simple and unique, which suggest that we were on the same idea link of what they wanted to create the band. If i had to go back and create the poster or digi packs, i think i would either add some more cartoon style imagery or do a more direct link to the products and music video.

3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

We were extremely lucky to get excellent feedback on our music video, by taking a risk by breaking conventions was a success. Doing upbeat changes throughout the video kept the viewers attention and worked well and linked together. The only criticism that we got from the rest of our peer group was that in our rough cut we had a lot of the bear, and not enough of a band performance. So having a discussion with the rest of my group we decided to do some extra filming of the main artist on a different location lip syncing. A very hard element we had to think about is how to please all ages of audience. As an example our peer groups so under 20 they all really enjoyed it and thought it was fun and exciting but people over 20 had different feelings some didn’t understand why we had gone down this route of breaking conventions, but on the other hand they enjoyed it. The only other criticism we got from our peers was that there some people thought there was no storyline and that they couldn’t understand certain aspects of the video, so by changing the start of the music video and having more lip syncing at the start and taking alot of the bear journey out we decided to focus on the main artist, so they had alot of coverage for the record company. Other points that we got good comments on was the stop motion, they said it gave the music video a new and different element, they also liked the bold simple text on top of the video, it was very affective and have just the right amount of it. The simple mise en scene was very affective and works well, for example the PJs, Chicken and duvet cover shows the element of the video being crazy and hippy which links it all back to the ancillary products and what we wanted to create.

4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

For creating and developing our music video and all the research that we did before creating the video. We used a lot of new media technologies in constructing it. The main and obvious products we used were the camera, tripods and still SLR cameras to capture images for the ancillary products. Before we even started on making the music video we first had to do was research on the band and what other artist could we link it back to and get some idea of what we wanted to create. Every bit of research we did we posted on to a website called “Blogger” which was to show everything we had thought about and created through this project. We had very successful and positive feedback from peers and students about our blog, saying that we had a wide range of variety of posts and research. The internet was a major part of where our research we did, we went onto website such as “YouTube” where we were able to research other artist and videos to help us illustrate what sort of style we were trying to aim for. It also had videos of how to do Green screen which we were planning to do, but we didn’t have enough time or the right equipment. “Wikipedia”, “Google”, “Google Images” all of these were used for general research and finding out what the original band was like, and how they went out by their success to then breaking up. “ITunes”, “QuickTime” these two programmes were used for finding the track we wanted to create our music video and QuickTime was for us to be able to show what we had created. Finally we used a website called “MySpace”; this was how we got in contact with the band, to ask for permission to use their song. All of these websites helped us so much in finding out about the band and what sort out image they were portraying in what they wanted to achieve this gave us a stepping stone in what to create and trying to stick to the conventions.
To create the ancillary products we used a programme called Photoshop, this was very useful to create the image we wanted to do. It helped us to experiment with different textures and colours we could use to get the best look, we also used this programme to create mood boards at the beginning of the project. But the main programme we used to create the music was Final cut; there would be no way we could have created what we have without it. It introduced new elements we could use in the music video such as the writing on the video, the speed of the clip and the lighting. It was a very helpful programme to make sure we got the right clip and could edit it to the best of our ability.

Lisette Cooke's Evaluation

Our final music video does both challenge and use forms and conventions of real media products. The band we chose is a typical quirky Indy band that uses conventions in their genre such as make believe lands, mixes of real narratives and shots of the band in unusual settings. We tried hard to keep the conventions of our genre throughout the music video. One of the ways we did this is through not having the band playing in the music video and not having the band playing in the music video and only having short sharp clips of the other musicians. It goes against voyeuristic treatment of both the male and female stereotypes. It does not have a women showing off her body or men dancing and wearing tight tops to show off their abs like in a lot of boy bands such as JLS in their ‘Beat Again‘ video . It also challenges the idea of having a set storyline you would find in a lot of other music videos such as Wheatus’s ‘Teenage dirt bag’ or Counting Crows‘s ’accidentally in love’ . It’s bright daylight setting also breaks the conventions of strobe or effective lighting in the background,, linking back to the intertextuality reference of having a live action feel that challenges community and surrealism inspired by the Film Borat. However we have also managed to use conventions and forms by creating a quirky /cheeky Indy band with the use of the giant bear. We maintained this throughout with upbeat editing that links with the timing of the music. We followed the style of 1980’s pop editing with cross fades in the slower bits through to amplifying with spit screens. We also used the notion of “looking” as we linked the lead singer looking into a mirror, fountain and at a photograph. The relationship between lyrics and visuals was brought into our product as we used text to amplify the lyrics in the music; whilst also having contradicting it with ironic twists such as having the bear sitting on a punting boat relaxing, as the lyrics sing “ I’m in hell” . Finally we also used more visual intertextuality references by creating a fun and humorous link through the use of props. We did this with items such as superman cape, toy soldiers, lightsaber, Winnie the pooh books, swords and eye patch. These link to film references with others such as the bear swinging on a lamp post from singing in the rain and him sitting on the bench a scene from Forrest Gump. We also combined a reference to fun and through influence from the Tv comedy show ‘Peep show’ which uses our chosen song Harvey danger as it’s theme tune.

During creating our ancillary texts we found an effective combination to that and our main product. In designing our Digipack we tried not to let it mirror our main music video as we wanted to have a broader feel to the band and the album as a whole. With this in mind we designed an image of a mini van on the front cover to link back to the 60’s Peace campaign this was effective as it had an intertextuality reference to the bands former songs like “ Carlotta Valdez” a character from the 1960’s Alfred Hitchcock Film ‘Vertigo’ However we felt it best to continue some themes into both the digipack and magazine poster. We added footprints along the side of the poster to link back to the video that the bear is travelling around the world. on the poster we did not put a picture of the band on the front, instead we added silhouettes to represent the band as during the video there is a lack of visual presence of the band as a whole. Plus during our planning research we found this a recurring theme amongst the bands past posters and album covers that don’t actually featured the band. The sign “ bend ahead” relates to the album name “ problems and bigger ones” this is very effective as it suggests that the band, like the bear have had difficulties and have been down bumpy roads ( also seen on the poster, by the swerves in the road behind the van) but there are bumpier roads to come. This works well as after researching we found out that the band had broken up this year, this then seamed like a good final album design. we discovered by adding some reviews onto the poster, found on the internet, of the bands music also very effective as a combination to the main production. with quotes like “individual and fresh” by NME gives the viewer an idea that they are going to see something different in this particular band.

We learned a lot from our audience feedback that made us think how we could improve our piece. Although we got very good and positive feedback from our roughcut about our use of shot types, paced editing, location and mis en scene, there was still a few things that needed some thought to make the final product better. After some group discussion we decided to re-shoot some of our footage inspired by some of the feedback we got from our peers. One example of this would be the lip syncing and close ups of the lead singer. we learnt after the re shoot and new editing that you may not always notice little things when your working on the product, but with another’s opinion, they can spot those small things and this helps you to sort them out. Lip syncing tuned out to be our biggest problem to deal with when re doing the sequences, as we had trouble getting enough good footage that matched the song and backing track. We also learnt that there is a big change in opinions and suggestions based on the audiences ages. The general feel from the under 25s was positive and enjoyed the quirky fun of the lion and stop motion soldiers. however the older audience viewers found the lack of storyline a little less enjoyable than the younger audience. with this in mind we had to find a way to combine both opinions so that our final piece would both still be quirky Indy band and still have a balanced ground. we worked on this by taking out earlier shots of the lead singer in the bed outside on the field as we felt it confused the audience on where the story starts. Then by our final cut we added more close up shots of the lead singer, sticking to the idea that a record company may want more coverage of the lead singer, it took away from having a lack of storyline and overdoing the bear gag. by repeating shots of the lead singer and the bear doing the same thing and mirroring each other this then lead to having a storyline where the audience work out that the lead singer is the bear. We got good response to this as the viewers begin to understand the storyline we presented.

The use of new technology helped us greatly in constructing, researching, planning and evaluating our product as a whole. Before using digital cameras and tripods to capture our footage we used a great deal of the internet’s resources to plan and research details of our chosen band and music track. we did this through sites such as to track and email the band, to get an idea of the style of the band, for past and upcoming information on the band and then Harvey danger’s main fan site to find information on the band’s break up. whilst doing this we used to retain and this enabled us to keep all of our research for future reference. We also found using as a source of inspiration to find other music videos, films and TV shows for our intertextuality references. we found that you tube was also a great site to learn different skills, one of these was using videos to understand how to do green screen, stop motion and different camera angles. using the applications on the computer such as using itunes to preview our song choices and Microsoft PowerPoint to create a pitch for our final idea. Photoshop was a great application to work with to create mood boards, early designs of poster and our final Digipack. Final cut express enabled us to edit, cut and sort through our footage to create our final product for both our music video and creators commentary.

Lisette Cooke


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
When planning our music video we decided that we didn’t want it to be like all the rest and conform to every rule of the genre. Many of the conventions that can be found in music videos from our genre; quirky Indie are; extreme close ups of the artists, fun colourful performance scenes and obscure make believe worlds; so instead of conforming to every convention we added a twist. We did this by making our music video both break; and sticks to conventions. This is what makes our piece exciting and unique compared with many others.
Our video demonstrates some genre characteristics for example the way the band are feature in the piece. Instead of making this a performance piece we replaced the lead singer with a lion; this then integrated an immediate difference from the other videos in the genre.
Although quite often boy bands are shown to perform dance routines, and filmed in a very sexy, intimate and voyeuristic way, we decided that this look wasn’t at all right for the band Harvey Danger. So instead of including extreme close ups of the males and using the camera in an objectifying way we decided to use simple and basic close ups in an insightful way. After looking at their previous work there was clear evidence that they too didn’t want to go down the conventional boy band route.
After breaking the one of the key conventions explained above we decided that we wanted to make a very clear relationship between lyrics and visuals just as Goodwin describes in his analysis’ of music videos; for example by adding the words of the song on to certain sections and then allowing the audience to see an image that demonstrates what the lyrics are portraying.
We also integrated a link between lyrics and visuals when we showed the lead singer looking in to a mirror and then being seen as a bear. This also relates to Goodwin’s notion of looking.
We wanted to add an element of fun to our music video so at times we used a very contradicting style through our editing; for example there is an image of the lion sitting in a boat on a sunny day yet whilst this image is being shown the lyrics say “I’m in hell”. We think this works effectively as again it plays on the fact that the song is about being crazy and mad.
We found that when it came to editing our music video we needed a fast paced transition between the footage to keep the visuals up to speed with the pace in the song. We tried to edit the majority of our transitions on the beat although at times this proved to be a very hard task.
To ensure that we met the demands of the record label, and the genre conventions we made it an absolute to include a wide variety of shots. These ranged from extreme close ups of the lead singer to panning establishing shots to show the change of location.
In our rough cut piece the band were not always present, but after producing this we received some very helpful, constructive criticism that helped us to realise that we should include more footage of the band. We then took some time looking over music videos from our genre and found that we could easily include the band members without going against our initial idea of making the piece different; for example the group “Wheatus” produced many music videos that narrowly broke conventions but were a great success.
The style of the song “flagpole sitter” is both very random and different and because of this we decide not to go along with Goodwin’s ideology of a music video and include voyeuristic references to the female body or show them in an objectified way as we did not think this would work effectively along side the lyrics.
After doing some research on the band we believe that our work relates well with previous work they have produced with in this genre but with a slight difference; by us purposely breaking some of the conventions we believe it allows the target audience to see the bands individuality.
We wanted to include intertextual references within our music video to show links with other media instituencies. We have a range of clips on our blog to demonstrate the relationships between our own work and other peoples work.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?
When producing our ancilliary products we made it key to include a link between the two pieces of work produced. Although the link is there it is not directly apparent there is smaller recognisable links; for example on both the DVD digi pack and the poster there is a Hawaiian flower present and the text remains the same on both of the pieces. The flower that is present on our work is both eye catching and colourful, even though the colours may vary it is clear that both ancilliary products have vibrant colours present. These factors being on both pieces of work then make it easy to recognise the image and associate it with the band. Both ancilliary products also include footprints; this iconography is present on both pieces and symbolise the idea of travelling. This also link in with the song “flagpole sitter”. We named the album “problems and bigger ones” by using this title we thought that the image shown on our DVD cover worked very effectively as it illustrates the hippy van having to face problems with hills and bends in the road.
Our ancilliary products are a very random style and this ties in with the style of our music video as well as the appearance of the band members. Although there is no direct link between our music video and DVD cover through image or text; the fact that they are both of a random nature, slightly obscure and very memorable then portrays the image we wanted to build for the band.
The products we produced also work well for viral marketing as they are very different to others on the market. This will then lead to the public talking about them and gaining a greater interest from a wider audience.
If we were to go back and produce our products again I think that including a more direct link would be a lot more effective for marketing and recognition purposes.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
After receiving feedback on our blog from class members we noticed that the majority of it was very positive and that in order to improve it we would have only needed to make slight changes for example; showing a greater link between the lead singer and lion so its apparent to the audience that they are in fact the same person, and perhaps another location so that the lion could have been seeing doing another unusual thing. One element of our work that got a great deal of positive feedback was the stop motion section; people thought this worked well as it made a change from the lion and also included text. One thing we could have done to improve this though was to spend longer when shooting as it would have enabled us to make the soldiers do fractionally smaller and smoother movements.
Although our audience like the fact we had a lion shown in the footage several people said that the novelty factor wore off fairly quickly so it was good that we included a variety of different shots; for example close ups, jump shots and panning establishing shots. As well as a variation in locations for example a shopping centre in town, a bedroom and the country side. The activities the lion is shown doing, such as running around in the countryside also add to the fun yet random atmosphere built up through out our piece. By including filters to sharpen the colours at the opening scene of our music video and editing the lighting to show a contrast between a section of clips it allowed very small changes to be made to our footage that then became very apparent to the audience; many people commented on how a greater inclusion of this could impact our work very positively. Although we listened to this constructive criticism after trying out some more filters else where in our footage, we decided not to use any more effects as we felt that they took the impact away from the previous sections where filters were present.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
We think that the blog was a very positive way to get an audience to see our work as it allowed them to see the rough cut and give their opinions on how we could improve the piece before the final deadline but also allowed them to see our work in progress and the reasons behind the decisions we made. By having class members preview our work it also allowed us to make those minors changes in order to hand the work in at the highest possible standard we were capable of.
Photoshop made the construction of our ancilliary texts fairly simple and enabled us to insert images, alter them and change the colour schemes in a very short period of time. By using this programme we could also take screen grabs of our work in progress and insert it on to the blog to allow people to see the good and bad ideas, the construction problems and processes.
When creating are music video we used final cut express; this allowed us to play around with many different elements of our footage including the order, the speed and lighting. This programme again made it very easy to show our working in progress on the blog by taking screen grabs of our work as we added effects.
By having resources available to us on the internet such as “Youtube” and “Myspace” impacted our work greatly as it allowed us to evaluate professionals work, and then work on the elements we wanted to include on our own piece. Myspace allowed us to watch videos the band have produced, see what Harvey Danger fans like about their work and read about them as a group. This then made it easier to produce a piece of work based around them as you gain an insight on them as a band as well as individuals.
By having all of these programmes and resources available it makes it very easy to produce a film. Although the process takes a very long time, the cameras are very easy to use and reliable, with the ease of just being able to delete the footage that has not been captured properly. The quality of the picture is also very good and makes it very easy to work with various footage even if it has been captured on different days.
Itunes allowed us to have access to the song “flagpole sitter” very easily and Final cut makes it very easy to edit the footage to the music as you have a music track open on the file you are editing in. By having the song playing along a time line and the editing capabilities it made it very easy to get the lip sync edited once you had got the hang of it.
Overall the programmes that were available helped us greatly when producing our work as it allowed us to change both small and large elements of captured images and footage as well as play around with effects and lighting.

Finished Commentary

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

still pictures for evaluation =)

Notes and preperations of the commentary

These are some brief notes for our commentary which we shall expand more in detail later in the filming. ----

•Difference to other stereotypical Indy boy band like wheatus as it lacks use of strobe lighting and surrealistic storyline. (CLIP) ours challenges conventions as it is arranged by placing something strange into a normal situation. The lack of voyeurism which is seen in most other bands such as JLS dancing and lifting up their shirts (clip) or women dancing in short skirts we cover a sense of fun which links to other media products such as hit tv show PEEP SHOW where flagpole sitter is the theme song

•In good wins analysis of Music videos he discusses the use of lyrics and visuals, split screens of the 1980s and looking into mirrors. We have used these. (CLIP)

•Intertextuality with (references and CLIPS)

•We avoided having an obvious link in our ancillary products to our music video of Flagpole sitter, so to give a vast feel to the whole album. However we have small links with the use of footprints, silhouettes of the band, Indy hippy van 1960s reference, bend in the road links to the album name, individual and fresh review.

3)audience feedback with (CLIPS) of unseen footage of stuff we have changed or removed for the final piece including some more notes.

4)we will finally discuss how using new media technology helped our final piece to be successful.

• Cameras
• Tripods
• Final cut
• YouTube
• MySpace
• Google images
• Wikipedia
• Photoshop
• ITunes
• Blogger
• QuickTime

Notes and preperations of the commentry

Content -

• Clips of video
• Audio commentary
• Talking heads, one or more (conversational?)
• Close ups or mid shots to close ups
• Clear and still background
• Unseen footage from early editing
• Poster, digipack, pictures
• Blog work
• Fads into background
• Other source material
© 2009 GROUP 42 - Music Video 2009/10. All Rights Reserved | Powered by Blogger
Design by psdvibe | Bloggerized By LawnyDesignz