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.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

All - Sample Scene Completed

Today we finally completed our sample scene that we'd been working on for the past fortnight or so. The quick excerpt includes a variety of shots we intend to use, as well as incorporting the two narratives of concept and performance throughout. For the final thing, we intend to shoot on the moorside as mentioned numerous times.  

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

CO - Animatic completion

After much hardship and sorrow, I have finally completed our group's animatic, which demonstrates the different camera angles we'll use, who'll be in the video and more. The song is also included in the animatic, but only an excerpt because to cover the entire 4 minutes I would've had to spend time we didn't have on the flash document, so it is more of a summary of ideas.

Here it is.  

Thursday, 8 December 2011

SB - Performance Sample Scene Update

We didn't get to film yesterday due to band members not showing up to practice so we couldn't get the shots we needed for the performance. However we'll be filming next week and we'll have to get some filming done at the practice next week.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

RM - Research into Chase Music Videos

As our music video will be containing chasing scenes, I was asked to look at several music videos that contain chase scene aspects. The music videos I looked at were: Paramore's "Monster", Pulled Apart By Horses "Back To The F**K Yeah", Cavalera Conspiracy "Sanctuary", Beastie Boys "Sabotage" and Cancer Bats " Sabotage" and "Scared To Death".

Paramore - Monster

- Several shots of the band members in a hospital before chase sequence.
- Explosions in close proximity to each band member alert them which start the chase sequence.
- Jump cuts to link chase and performance scenes, which uses the music to change the shot used.
- Special effects used such as slow motion - especially used whilst explosions are behind at least one of the band members
- Shots used for chase scene are in front of of the band members. Chase scene covers several locations (hospital, church).
- Chase scene ends where the performance scenes are based.
- Camera moves slightly from left to right (or vice versa) during chase scenes.
- Variation of shots used however the majority of shots used are long shots.

Pulled Apart By Horses - Back To The F**K Yeah

- When the band members are being pulled by an unseen force close-ups of each band members are used.
- Each time the band members return to the centre of the forest, the location of the performance, each one appears to have blood on them and appear to be in a state of limbo. The band members also appear to be worried that the same occurrence will happen again.
- Points of view from the unforeseen monster and band members are used. During these sequences the camera shakes from side to side. However some shots are stills (normally when a band member falls).
- Throughout the chase scene there are jump cuts to other band members, who are all being chased.
- There is a wide variation of shots and angles used until the band members are back in position playing their instruments. This time they are in a further state of limbo.
- For a split second at the end the audience can see the drummer is pulled back signifying this occurrence is happening once again.

Cavalera Conspiracy - Sanctuary

- Shaky camera work throughout the music video.
- The monster is seen throughout the music video.
- Points of view from the people's prospective and the monster's are used throughout the music video.
- These sometimes consist of the person looking back to see the monster chasing him or her.
- Audience watches monster devour people and destroy the set.
- Jump cuts to performance aspect throughout the music video.
- When cast and crew members hide and the monster finds them the shots are quickened up allowing for the "prey" to escape.
- Point of views of people dead either in clear body bags or laid on the floor - blood and guts are shown.
- Everyone appears to be dead except from the band that is performing. The band is also surrounded by bodies.
- At the end the monster kills someone (shown through at point of view). The ending shot is from the person who has just been attacked prospective looking at the band finishing their performance.

Beastie Boys - Sabotage

- Wide variation of shot types and angles used. Panning and tracking are also used in a lot of the shots.
- Small amount of point of view shots used during the chase scenes. The majority of shots are from the "predators" prospective.
- If not a point of view the shot used is normally from the side allowing the audience to see what is happening. Sometimes shots are from the front but this is rare.

Cancer Bats - Sabotage

- Wide variation of shots used. Some of them the camera shakes from side to side.
- Some of the actions are repeated. An example of this is at 1.06 were a band member catches van keys.
- Point of view shots used whilst running behind other band members. Also used in front and at the side of a band member.
- Used a wide variation of shots and angles.
- Majority of chase shots are from being like the band member is being hunted.
- Several different location and environments used e.g. Streets and the car park.

Cancer Bats - Scared To Death

- Point of views from the monster chasing its prey and the prey itself.
- The majority of performance shots are points of view from the hooded figures - anchored through camera shaking slightly. Also through several of the hooded figures are holding cameras filming the band members.
- Snorricam used for front on close-ups whilst band members have escaped and being chased.
- Shots from still positions which track and pan are also used.

SB - Plan of action

We intend to start experimenting with filming this month, and look for interesting locations, shot types. we also need to start experimenting with the gore and start choosing how the members are going to die and where they'll die. We are also planning to do a number of Sublime Transcendence vodcasts as a group on the metalcore genre and the progress of our idea and how it has changed, we'll also be doing podcasts together as a group, we intend to do them about progression in the week and any new ideas we have thought about or problems we will face during filming.

CO - Animatic

A shot from the Animatic,
featuring a part of the performance.


I am currently working on an animatic storyboard for the group which documents some of our proposed camera shots, scenes and more. I am creating it using Adobe Flash CS3 Professional as opposed to other groups doing it by hand, as I believe it looks a lot more presentable as well as being able to include a lot of detail then export it as a movie to watch online. However, I do intend on putting a suitable amount of detail on it which means I am taking my time with it, so the finished thing can look as decent as possible.

SB - letlive. research

letlive. are primarily a hardcore band with elements of different genres mixed in there such as metalcore, jazz and funk. The band are from Los Angeles, California. The band has released three albums :

  • Exhaustion, Saltwater, and Everything in Between (2004 At One Records)
  • Speak Like You Talk (2005 At One Records)
  • Fake History (2010 Tragic Hero), (2011 Epitaph re-release

Their latest endeavor Fake History has been quoted as; "a post-hardcore album fit for many of 2010's best-of lists" and representing "their exhilarating brand of progressive hardcore"

After a lineup change (with only vocalist/writer Jason Aalon Bulter remaining), their second album Speak Like You Talk was released in 2005, also on At One Records. The group gained momentum and after more personnel changes, signed with Tragic Hero Records in 2009. They released Fake History on Tragic Hero and it got favorable reviews The band continued touring and after signing with Epitaph Records in February 2011, undertook a brief European tour. Epitaph re-released Fake History in April 2011 with three additional tracks, including two B-sides and one new song produced by Brett Gurewitz. The re-release has been the subject of several favorable reviews. The band are known for their incredible stage presence and live shows being 'crazy'. They have four music videos of tracks that are off Fake History. These include 'Muther' 'The Sick Sick 6.8 Billion' 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

RM - Postmodernism and Intertextuality

The concept of "Postmodernism" argues there is no reality. The audience views everything in the world through symbols which represent more symbols. It has emphasis on the role of language and motivates ideas and beliefs. In particular the theory attacks the use of classifications and stereotypes including male versus female, straight versus gay, and white versus black. Postmodernism has had influences on many different fields including: religion, sociology, architecture, history, visual arts, and music.

This applies to our music video through the preferred reading as we are trying to portray a beast attacking the band members, which then become in a state of limbo thus being signified by the use of fake blood and guts. We will provide anchorage of point of view shots from the beast by using special effects (i.e. changing the colours of the shot). Also present in our music video are the use of stereotypes which oppose this concept.

The concept of "Interxtuality" is where an author of a peice of text either makes reference or uses part of another piece of text. This has been done across all media platforms from film and television to books. An example of this is in Kasabian's music video for the single "Re-Wired" which contains Noel Fielding who plays Vlad The Impaler. Fielding plays Vlad The Impaler in two separate music videos which are both for the song "Vlad The Impaler". As well as this the is also reference to one of the band's B-sides "Julie & the Moth Man"

Here is Kasabian's "Re-Wired" music video:

Here are both of the singles for "Vlad the Impaler":

Wikipedia - Postmodernism, Intertextuality

Thursday, 1 December 2011

CO - Johnny Truant - Death Rides deconstruction

Johnny Truant was a British, Brighton-based metalcore band, formed in 2000 under the name Severance. The band recorded their debut release The Repercussions of a Badly Planned Suicide (which featured three remixed songs from their second demo) in 2002 which was released on Undergroove Records. Their second album, In the Library of Horrific Events was produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist, Adam Dutkiewicz. The band have toured the UK, Europe and Canada with the likes of Killswitch EngageAs I Lay DyingCancer Bats and Alexisonfire as well as playing Download Festival in 2005, 2006 and 2008. 

The song 'Death Rides' is from their 2008 album No Tears For The Creatures and was one of two singles released, as well asThe Grotesque. It was directed by Adam Powell who has worked with bands of the genre including Architects and Gallows. The video is entirely performance narrative and focuses on each band member playing their instruments throughout, and follows a lot of codes and conventions.

The video begins with a quick tracking shot from behind the drummer, and all of the band are shown in a group/ML shot. The camera shot styles then begin varying from that point onwards, beginning with the focus on the vocalist as he begins screaming the lyrics for the song. A majority of the shots are done using a handheld camera as a lot of them are extremely shaky, as well as being fast-paced with quick editing. 

Vocalist Olly Mitchell, shot with a low angle.
A lot of shots follow the musicians as they perform, with quick zoom shots and techniques used throughout, and there are also a lot of different height angles, such as a lot of shots filmed from a very low angle, as pictured, making the band look intimidating which matches the aggressive nature of the song. The location for the video seems to be some sort of hangar or some large storage space, and is actually quite sparse, so the camera focuses primarily on the band instead of the location. There is an open door in the hangar and that provides the light source to the video, and there are often frequent lens flares and naturally brightened shots due to that. 

CO - Sample Scene Update

Today we had a long band practice due to the teacher's strike, meaning we could shoot some sample footage as well as rehearse our songs. Using an HD camera, Richard recorded various close-ups and group shots so we could include an idea of the performance narrative for our video pitch, in addition to some of the concept narrative we shot earlier. We practiced as usual and played Like A Match To An Arsonist, our recorded song. (nb we will have recently uploaded a newer version of the song, fully mastered, and this'll have to be taken into account when submitting the finished sample footage) so we can synchronise it with the playback already in the video and include shots of the band playing, intermittently inserted between shots of the concept narrative.