Welcome to my A2 Media Studies Blog. The brief is: to produce a music video, a digipak cover, and magazine advert for the digipak. Throughout the course we will be learning about conventions (general and genre specific) used for each of these products.

Friday, 30 September 2011

RM - Marking a 2011 A2 Vid (Joy Division: Disorder)

We have recently been set the task of marking a music video produced by a 2011 media student. We got to chose whose music video we marked. I decided to choose marking Jonny Hughes, Callum Moreman and Joel Colborne's music video for Joy Division's Disorder.

Holding a shot steady, where appropriate:


Throughout the video the almost all the shots are held steady, the exception is the very first shot, the shot is shaky for the first 3 seconds. Apart from this the rest of the shots are held steady.
A good example of when the shot is held steady is between the times 1:03 to 1:10 the reason why this shot is a good example of the shot being steady is due to the shot tracking the protagonist as he turns around on the spot. Throughout this shot it remains a close-up. This type of shot is repeated throughout the video during the same section of the song.

Framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate:


The framing of the shots has been well thought through. This is shown throughout the video an example of this is when the protagonist is walking down an ordinary street which the audience can see ordinary street objects which anchor the location. As well as this the shots used that feature the protagonist are normally centralised.

Using a variety of shot distances as appropriate, editing so that the meaning is apparent to the viewer and using varied shot transitions, captions and other effects selectively and appropriately:


Throughout this music video there is a wide range of shots and angles used, these shots include from
close-ups to extreme long shots.

A good example showing the wide range of shots is whilst the protagonist is in a wood. The shots included are close-ups, medium, long and extreme long. The close-ups that are featured in this section including a tracking shot which follows the protagonist as he turns on the spot, the angle used is a low angle. The other close-up included in this section is whilst the protagonist is in another location, which appears to be a cramped room. Fading in and out transitions are used to link the two different locations together. The medium shot used mainly focuses on the protagonist smoking or falling down. To add to this during one shot, the shot is reduced with a black box around it and the image scrolls up signifying that it could be from an old film reel this is future anchored due to the colouring of the video being black and white. The is maintained throughout the video with the exception of a close-up of the cigarette when being smoked at the beginning which appears to have red glowing ash as the protagonist is smoking it. Long shots are used to show the audience the route the protagonist is taking whilst walking through the wood.

Shooting material appropriate to the task set:


The footage filmed is appropriate to the task set although it could be argued that the cigarette could be taking it a step too far. The only reason for that is that there has been recent news that media that includes smoking should be given an adult certificate. Despite this the target market would be adult which would therefore rule this argument out. The target market would be aged between 15-24 and a secondary audience of 40-60. Another reason why the material is appropriate to the criteria set is because the music fits into the music video.

Selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objectives and setting:


Throughout the video each aspect has been thought of clearly and been well delivered.

During the entire music video all the colour has been extracted leaving black and white, with exception a shot of a close-up of a cigarette being smoked which appears to have red colouring. This also effects the lighting of the video although in some sequences the sequence where the protagonist is in a subway and where it appears the protagonist is in a small room) the audience can tell the group has this is because the lighting darkness and brightens up giving the sense of realism.

Using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task:


The sound that is attached to the footage has been appropriately edited out with exception to the beginning and last shots which contains wind. Although during these sections the track isn’t being played therefore this could be deliberate. As well as this the lyrics contains no explicit lyrics. The editing for this music video has been edited appropriately so it looks like it is an actual video for the band.

In conclusion I would give this coursework 37/40.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

RM - Lessons Learnt of Class Music Video

Whilst filming the footage required for the practice music video we came across several problems.

One example of this is that for some of the sequences we didn’t film enough footage so we were limited in these areas. This was mainly in the sequences that we filmed at a later date due to the sort time period left to import the footage onto the Macs each pair was using.

As well as this at the start of the week we didn’t take every opportunity we had to film. This was most noticeable when everyone had two hours free, this was because we were deciding what we would be doing during Recreation and Leisure, during this time we didn’t film and it wasn’t to the next day we actually started to. To help each class member know what we were doing for the remaining days a  Facebook group was created, this allowing to communicate whilst at home.

Another factor that was added into this was for some sections we managed to film the behind the scenes footage but not the footage required. This meant we had to quickly re-film the section that was missing at the last minute. This also meant that the cast members involved didn’t have their costumes used in the original case. This wasn’t really a problem with the exception of the protagonist whom as a class thought it would be better if he had the same costume throughout the music video.

As this happened in the class music video we will be able to apply these lessons into our coursework.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

RM - "Threw It On The Ground" Music Video

For this task each member of the class was given 90 seconds to pitch their idea. After everyone had pitched their idea the class voted on which idea they would like to re-create, the winning pitch was Conor O’Loughlin's "Threw It On The Ground". As a class we were given a week to film all the footage required and  edit it. When we were separated into pairs I was paired with Conor.

Here is Conor's and my edited version of "Threw It On The Ground".

Sunday, 25 September 2011

RM - "Threw It on the Ground" Class Video – Editing

After the class had collected all the footage required to produce a music video for The Lonely Island’s “Threw It on the Ground” we were separated into pairs. I am working with Conor O’Loughlin.

The first task (after filming) was to import the film footage from the several SD Cards we had used to the program Final Cut Express via IMovie 11. This is the same program we will be using for our coursework (which we will be pitching in the middle of this upcoming week).

On Friday Conor and I managed to nearly complete our edited version of the video, all that needs to be done is make the sure lip-syncing matches the audio as well as edit a few shots (that have already been filmed) into the music video, as we didn’t have time to complete it on Friday.

This task allows us to learn from mistakes from either of the filming and editing process, which we will be starting this week.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

RM - Class Video Pitch

On Friday 16th September (2011)  we were given 90 seconds to pitch an idea we had thought of for a music video which the entire class could participate in. After each member of the class had pitched their idea, the entire class voted on which one they would want to create. The class saw the following pitches.

The winning idea was to re-create The Lonely Island's "Threw It on the Ground". Click here to see the original music video.

My idea was to do Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”. The video would consist of a performance and a concept aspect with each part being linked together. With the concept aspect being broken down further into two separate sections.

The first element of the concept would consist of someone walking around the school grounds whilst lip-syncing however this would be edited so the person wouldn’t have to lip-sync the entire song only sections as well as it fitting into the second element. The shots used would feature a medium shot looking straight at the person whilst lip-syncing as well as a variety of close-ups and extreme long shots to show the person walking around the school grounds.

The second element of the concept part would feature a classroom full of pupils being taught a subject, during this part of the music video the pupils would look bored and would lip-sync the lyrics “We Don’t Need No Education. We Don’t Need No Thought Control”. The shots used for this section would feature long shots of the class as well as close-ups of some of the pupils faces (looking bored), and point of views from the teacher whilst the pupils lip-sync.

During the outro of the music video the pupils stand up and walk out of class leaving the teacher the only person in the classroom and pass the person who has been walking around the school grounds lip-syncing. The person who has been lip-syncing walks to the door of the classroom and stops. This is where the video ends.

Here is the original music video:

Here is my pitch:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

RM - Vodcast Exercise - Asa and Richard

Over the summer holidays we were set homework which consisted of deconstructing 15 - 20 music videos of any genre. We were then asked to form pairs and chose one deconstruction each to compare the similarities and differences.

In this Vodcast Asa and myself are discussing the similarities and differences between Maximum the Hormone's "What's Up People and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". Asa will be talking about Maximum the Hormone's "What's Up People" and I will be talking about Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

Maximum the Hormone is a Japanese nu-metal band and Green Day is an American punk rock band.

Click here to view Asa's Maximum the Hormone's "What's Up People" deconstruction.
Click here to view my Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" deconstruction.

Monday, 12 September 2011

RM - Examples of Weak Music Videos

Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You

Ed Sheeran's You Need Me, I Don't Need You is taken off his debut album called +. It was the second single to be released from +. The music video was directed by Emil Nava. The majority of the video is focusing on the protagonist whom is signing the lyrics. Throughtout this music video the same shots are repeated. These shots are mainly medium close ups, medium shots and long shots.

A possible reason for Ed Sheeran to have released this music video is down to the genre, which is  singer-songwriter and has become an instant mainstream hit. Although it could be due to it being his debut album therefore he won't have the finances other bands will have. However his previous single's music video (The A Team) is also another example of a weak music video. Click here to view it.

Snow Patrol - Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes was taken off Snow Patrol's Eyes Open, the band's fourth album. Open Your Eyes was the fifth single from the album. The music videocontained video footage from a cult film C'├ętait un rendez-vous, which is a short film which is under 10 minutes. The film is directed by Claude Lelouch. The music video is just one shot taken from the front of the car looking at the road before it.

Kasier Chiefs - Loves Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)

Loves Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) is from the band's second album Yours Truly, Angry Mob. It was the fourth single from the album. The music video was directed by Jim Canty. Like the Snow Patrol video this is also taken in one shot but of the band in and around New York's Columbus Circle near West 59th and Broadway.

Both the Snow Patrol's "Open Your Eyes" and Kaiser Chief's "Loves Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)" were both singles late in the album's history, therefore the majoirty of their fans would already have the album. This would mean that spending a fortune on a music video to get hardly any sales wouldn't be worth it.

All three videos need to have a wider range of shot variation instead of having the majority or the entire video just being one shot.  This would mean that the music video's replay value would increase. Although Ed Sheeran's "You Need Me, I Don't Need" has 5,146,704 currently and Snow Patrol's "Open Your Eyes" has 4,644,080 whereas the Kaiser Chief's "Loves Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)" only has 233,437.

RM - My 10 Favourite Music Vids

10. Muse - Uprising
Uprising was the first single off the band's fifth album "The Resistance", both of these were released in 2009. The music video for Uprising is a hybrid, of performance and narrative, and is directed by an American group called Hydra (Hydra mainly consists of Sam Stephens and John Hobbs). Towards the end of the music video giant teddy bears rise up from the ground and start to destroy a minature city, which has featured throughout the music video. One of these teddy bears falls down in the middle of a street. This is a reference to the Ghostbusters movie, one of the shots used is reported to image the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man's introduction.

9. Paramore - CrushCrushCrush

Paramore's CrushCrushCrush was released in 2007. The music video is a performance with elements of concept. The was directed by Shane Drake. The performance aspect is the band playing in a barren desert whereas the concept element is the band in the roles as bandits whom smash the bands insturments towards the end of the music video.

8. The Killers - Somebody Told Me

The Killer's Somebody Told Me is taken off the bands debut album Hot Fuzz. The entire video is performance based. The music video was directed by Brett Simon.

The concept is very similar to the video for "Crystal" by New Order, which features a fictional band called The Killers miming the New Order song in front of a large video screen flashing random colours and images. It was from this video that The Killers got their band name, so the similarities are likely an intentional homage.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somebody_Told_Me#Music_video

7. Editors - Papillon

Editors' Papillom is a concept music video, released in 2009 Papillon was the lead single for the band's third album In This Light and on This Evening. The music video is directed by Andrew Douglas. The entire video is focused on the lead protagonist running through the streets of LA. During the video the protagonist is joined and left by several other cast members whom are also running. It is unknown why they are running.

6. Green Day - Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Holiday and Boulevard of Broken Dreams can be found on Green Day's album American Idoit. These music videos are formed as two parts Holiday being the party aspect and Boulevard of Broken Dreams being the aftermath of the party. I have already done a deconstruction for Boulevard of Broken Dreams which can be found by clicking here. The deconstruction also features behind the scenes making the video.

5. Muse - Invincible

Muse's Invincible was the band's fourth single on Black Holes and Revelations (their fourth album). The single was released in 2007. The music video is a hyrid between concept and performance. The music video was directed by Jonnie Ross. The concept aspect of the music video features the band travelling through a ride showing the world's history and future. The times the band members travel through are (these are in the order of appearence): Stone age, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Viking age, Industrial age, World War II, Present time, Present time in chaos and then Aftermath. The performance aspect is the band performing this song whilst travel on a boat through the ride.

4. The Clash - Rock The Casbah

Rock The Casbah was released in 1982. I have done alread done a deconstruction for this music video click here to read it.

3. Kasabian - Empire

Kasabian's Empire is a hybrid music video which features narrative and performance aspects. The song is taken off the band's second album also called "Empire". The setting of this music video is during the Crismon War with the band members taking roles as troopers of the 11th Hussars Regiment. During this music video there is a refference to the second single "Shoot The Runner" when a messager gets shot by someone offscreen. This song was released in 2006 and it was directed by W.I.Z., whoms videos often contain political or social issues and messages. This is continued in this music video with the band members refusing to go into battle and marches to the general's headquaters.

2. Bon Jovi - It's My Life

Bon Jovi's It's My Life was released in 2000. The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. I have already done a deconstruction of this music video click here to read it.

1. Muse - Knights of Cydonia

Knights of Cydonia was Muse's third single from the bands fourth album Black Holes and Revelations. The single was released in 2006. The music video is a hybrid between narrative and performance. It was directed byJoseph Kahn.
Throughout the video there are a number of movie references, these include: Star Wars, The Good the Bad The Ugly, The Matrix, Batman, Planet of the Apes, Mad Max, Blade Runner, Lone Ranger, Maverick, Once Upon a Time in China, Battlestar Galactica, Five Deadly Venoms, Kung Fu, The Searchers, Westworld and Heavy Metal.
Source: http://www.musewiki.org/Knights_of_Cydonia_%28video%29

Sunday, 11 September 2011

RM - Common Conventions In Music Videos

In the music videos I deconstructed over the summer holiday I managed to find a wide range of common conventions used despite the range of genres. 

An example of dancing occuring
in a music video
Music Video:
Paramore's Ignorance

The artist is performing at some stage of the music video.
- In performance aspects the majority of the focus is on the vocalist.
- The vocalist(s) lip-sync- The song's tempo normally dictates the length of the takes.
- The lyrics of the song can dictate what appears in the music video. However this can also be dictated by the artist if he/she/the band what to prove a point. - Goodwin's Theory: Performance, Concept and Narrative are included in music videos
- The use of lighting - glossy to attract and state a good image whereas for dull lighting it gives the opposite reading.- Mulitple locations used as part of Goodwin's theory- Diegetic intro, break and outros
- Wide variation in shots and angles
- Special Effects are used
- Male and female gazes are included
- Dancing normally occurs

An example of special effects
used in a music video.
Music Video:
Green Day's Boulevard Of
Broken Dreams
An example of the lead vocalist
being the center of attention
Music Video:
The Clash's Rock The Casbah

An example of a diegetic
introduction to a music video.
Music Video:
Bon Jovi's It's My Life

Saturday, 10 September 2011

RM - Blur - Parklife Deconstruction

Artist: Blur
Song: Parklife
Genre: Britpop
Director: Pedro Romhanyi
Audience: All
Year Released: 1994

Blur’s “Parklife” music video features all three elements. These being narrative, performance and custom based. The video features a cameo appearance from Phil Daniels and also features the band portraying roles during the entire music video. This music video has aspects of a performance, a narrative and a custom based music video.

Phil Daniels in Blur's "Parklife"
music video.
The performance element of the video features Phil Daniels and Blur’s lead vocalist, Damon Albarn, lip-syncing throughout the music video. The narrative aspect of the video features the other band dressed as characters dressed up whilst Daniels and Albarn pass them in a car. This is anchored by Daniels lip-syncing the lyrics signifying whom the pair have passed. For example Daniels lip-syncs “Who’s that gut lord marching? You should cut down on your parklife, get some exercise” as they pass an overweight male. This aspect also features the concept part of the music video.

Damon Albarn lip-syncing whilst
the remaining band members
open and close umbrellas.
The concept part can be broken down into two parts. One part is where Daniels and Albarn lip-syncing driving around in a car around different locations portrayed in the background with the band being cast members for Daniels to name and poke fun at. The other part of the music video which is custom based is where the band are located in a housing estate, which is the same housing estate featured at the beginning of the house. This also includes props for the band to entertain them whilst Albarn lip-syncs. The props that feature in the video include an ice cream van, a three manned bicycle, and a football, shopping trolley, umbrellas and a dog. By allowing the band to carry out these activities it is allowing the audience to laugh at both sides of the custom aspects of the music video.

Throughout the video special effects are used. This mainly features of blue-screens which are used throughout the video. This features the two singers diving around in a car and the entire band featuring in a housing estate. Another special effect used for shots is fish-eye which is only used at the beginning of the video whilst the two vocalists try to sell windows. An example of fish-eye being used is to the right