Monday, 30 July 2012

I realise that I have missed many deadlines...

and I accept full responsibility for missing them. I don't have an excuse for it other than the fact that I was taking part in the Olympics. I'm kidding. I was actually being a lazy student who keeps putting things off by a week without realising that she only has a week left to complete all these tasks as she is going away on the 6th for four weeks.

So this post not only serves as an apology for my lateness but as a promise that I shall be putting up during the course of this week  -
  • My Hip Hop conventions which I should have finished a month ago but didn't get around to because of reasons.
  • My Rock conventions which I should have finished last week but didn't get around to because of reasons.
  • My animatic for a song of my choice.
  • Hopefully the video diary we filmed while doing our one minute extract of Wuthering Heights.
If I do not get these things done by the end of this week then I will have to complete them in an internet cafe somewhere. Which will be my punishment as I hate social contact.

Good day.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Filming our one minute extract.

I think what i'm about to say might be a bit obvious (due to the title basically giving it away) but we filmed our one minute extract for Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" today. Despite us having done an excercise similar to this one before this task was alot more complicated however this was not due to us learning the direction or the camera shots for the piece but due to other factors such as the weather and mise-en-scene. Finding a costume for this was always going to be tricky since Kate Bush's video was filmed quite a long time ago (well to me) but we managed to find something suitable that does actually resemble the outfit worn by Kate Bush in the video. The dress itself isn't as long as the one worn by Kate Bush but we evaded this problem by having Sarah wear red tights beneath the dress to blend in. We also chose a minute that consisted of mostly mid shots so it wasn't so obvious. Another issue we crossed was finding the same colour of red that Kate Bush is wearing. As you can tell the colours aren't that similar but although we searched we couldn't find an outfit that remotely resembled Kate Bush's outfit that was the exact colour of the original. So we settled on having Sarah in a red dress that was similar to the original and put emphasis on the accesories such as the flowers in her hair, the flower around her neck (which in the actual video Sarah is wearing but I couldn't find a screencap from the behind-the-scene footage with the flower round her neck) and the black fabric wrapped around her middle.

We didn't have an issue with recreating the make up Kate Bush is wearing in her music video because she isn't actually wearing that much. From what we could see (and you can see) Kate is wearing greenish/silver eye shadow, mascara and red lips. Me and Sarah are both female (shockingly) so it wasn't hard to find the make up that could be used for this. The flowers in their hair aren't identical but they are both red and chunky so we didn't think it mattered too much. The main focus of our music video will be on the choreography and the camera angles/movement and we think we did both rather well. Here is a side by side of Sarah as Kate Bush and Kate Kate Bush or Cathy depending on how you look at it. If I can find a closer shot of Sarah's make up then I shall replace the photo I have up now with that one but for now I think this picture shall suffice.
The weather was the biggest problem we faced today. Living in England means we rarely have a spot of dry to film in (even when it's Summer) which meant that me and Sarah had prepared to wait until 7 pm for the Weather to calm down. Eventually (though not at 7 luckily) the weather became bareable so we rushed out to film. We filmed in a park round the corner from Sarah's block of flats that is just one grassy plane with trees surrounding it. For this we thought it was perfect although the trees do not match the ones in the music video. I suspect this is because Kate Bush's music video was filmed in another country but I could be wrong. We spent about an hour on filming all the shots and a half an hour filming behind the scene footage and answering questions on the important aspects of our production. Hopefully we will upload the footage or the finished article when we return from Summer but there may be a chance of us uploading it before then.

Until this does happen we decided to film and edit together a mini promo for our music video (actualy it's not...we were using mean girl's lines to promote Kate Bush) and make a video of media terminology dedicated to our media teacher. Not random media terminology I might add but terminology that we had to consider within our piece. Do enjoy the media terminology video. Unfortunately I cannot work out how to post the other video so...

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Our lip syncing montage.

I'm not sure if you'll be able to see this (due to it being blocked in some countries. Which I don't understand personally. Why should other countries be able to see it and other countries not? That's country-ist!) but here it is. The picture that comes up before you start the video is hilarious. Overall i'm happy with the result. There are a few mishaps with timing (but their only slightly off and you probably won't notice it) and the occasional moment of speech but other than that it should be your normal, run of the mill lip syncing video. You should also take notice of the impressive choreography we worked into each song. Carry on my wayward son was planned very intricately and  took us a few shots to get precisely right. We care that much about our media coursework. We edited this together during Media today and overlayed (?)/added the filters to it during our free 4th period. Here is a list of the songs we used -

1) Carry on my wayward son - Kansas
2) Total eclipse of the heart - Bonnie Tyler
3) The bed intruder song - Autotune the news
4) Barbie girl - Aqua
5) Bring me to life - Evanescence
6) Mambo No 5 - Lou Bega
7) Superbass - Nicki Minaj (introducing Tanya on vocals for that number)
8) Hey Mickey - Tiffany
A pause for dramatic effect of grey and
9) Because I got high - Afroman.

This was originally supposed to be 2 - 3 minutes long. Oh dear. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

One minute extract analysis.

Can you tell which is which?
For our pre-pre-pre prelim task we had to recreate a minute (of our choice) from the music video 'A million ways' by Ok Go. Although we had no issue with the cinematography due to the fact that the original music video was filmed in one long shot, we did have issues with were mise-en-scene and direction which you will soon find out when you watch our extract.


As I explained above the original music video for 'A million ways' didn't use many camera angles. Infact they only used one which was a long shot that continued throughout the entire video. This wasn't hard to accomplish with ours as all we had to do was set up the camera at a far distance so that all of our bodies could be shown. As the whole thing was filmed using one shot it meant that we had to learn all of the direction for our chosen minute and try to perform it without making any mistakes otherwise we'd have to start again. That was the
tricky part.

 Despite me saying how tricky we found the mise-en-scene for this music video was, that is not to say that there was much mise-en-scene. The only things we really had to consider were the actors, costume and setting. As Sarah pointed out quite rightly in her analysis outside of Media we don't have that many male friends who were willing to help us with our minute extract. The only male friend we did have who agreed to be a part of it was Omar so we had to substitute the all male cast (?) of Ok Go with females. These females being Sarah, Livvy and myself. Setting wise we decided we were going to use my back garden. This was because nobody else in our group had garden's big enough for us to perform a dance routine and Sarah didn't have a garden at all. When comparing the two videos you can tell that our set looks nothing like the set used in the Ok go music video but we had no other choice. We did try to incooperate the concrete flooring by (originally) having the camera angled the so that the path was visible (even if we weren't dancing on it) but because my path was so narrow the camera couldn't pick it up. We also tried filming on the decking which overlooked the grass but my decking wasn't big enough for us to perform the routine. And being that we are now a professional dance group we wanted our first routine to show off all our potential so it just couldn't work.

The biggest problem we had with mise-en-scene was our costumes. Being that more than half of our group were female we found it really hard to recreate our costumes exactly as they had it. Omar (the one standing with a very sassy pose) got his costume almost spot on. The only thing that didn't work with the original was the colour of his waist coat. Sarah's costume was quite close to who she was representing as well. Again her only issue was with colour. My costume wasn't at all near and neither was Livvy's.

I'd like to add that we purposely subverted the heights of the band members through our use of actors. Me (being the shortest) played the tallest man in blue, then Livvy played the second tallest, Sarah played the third tallest and Omar played the shortest when Omar was the tallest of all of us.


This was never going to be an issue for us. All we had to do for the sound was mute our performance and put the sound over the top during editing. Later we realised that this wasn't going to be easy as we had to predict the exact time that we began dancing to the music and where to cut the music at the right moment. We managed to do it successfully though as the music and dancing goes in time quite well.

As mentioned previously the editing for our piece wasn't going to be difficult because the whole video is a continuous long shot. This meant that we had to film the whole routine in one shot without making any mistakes. When watching it back you will be able to see that there were a few mishaps but that wasn't to do with the editing. For editing we had to mute our video, put the music over the top, cut off the beginning and the end of our video (as we were celebrating getting the dance right) and flip the shot so it went from this
 To this
At first we had been planning to do move the opposite way to the people in the Ok Go music video when we realised that we could film the same way (which would be easier for us) and flip the shot later. Which is what we ended up doing. Now we are positioned correctly to the real music video.

As pointed out by Sarah in her analysis that although it is clear we both filmed in the middle of the day our reacreation is alot lighter than the original. This could be down to the fact that they filmed on a gloomier day (as me and Omar performed a sun dance beforehand) or because they were under the cover of trees. Either way the natural lighting in our's is much brighter.

This was definately the most complicated aspect of our production. The direction of this piece is very intricate and probably took the band months to learn. Unfortunately we only had around a month to learn it and to convince others to learn this routine. To make matters worse once we had learned the routine we decided (at the last minute) to change our minute to one that was simpler. This meant that we spent a good three hours before filming learning this new minute. This is possibly why there are a few mistakes in our piece (mostly from me) but we gave it our best shot. Here is how it should have looked.
 And here is how it ended up looking.
This is actually more accurate than I thought it would look.

What could we have improved on?
I think the main thing we could have and should have approved on was our direction. No one can say we didn't try but the idea of the task was to make our minute as accurate as possible to the real thing which clearly direction wise it wasn't. There were too many mistakes and obvious discomfort on our faces down to these mistakes. We also could have spent longer looking for a more appropriate cast of people. We're very grateful to the people who did star in our recreation but ideally they would have all been male.

Any elements you'd consider using for your actual music video?
I did really enjoy the dancing in this piece. It gives the video a happier feel to it and makes it less serious and more comedic which I like. I think that me and Sarah have decided that we want to use a more upbeat/happy tune this time because of the depressing tale that is Esther so having a dance aspect to our video could be really effective.

Elements you won't be using?
I don't think our music video would be purely dance based. Not only is it essential for our music videos because of the exam criteria to have a narrative but I think it would be more interesting if our music video did have a narrative. In my personal experience of watching music videos I find that i'm more engaged in the piece if there is some form of narrative because otherwise I have no idea of what's going on. Similiarly I can't stand it when a music video has a narrative that has no relation to the lyrics (Goodwin's theories) because that too becomes confusing.

I do think that our recreation was quite successful. It does resemble the music video we were recreating in one way or another. In some ways more than others. I think that the aspect we captured the best from the Ok Go music video was the cinematography as it was straight forward and didn't need much work. The thing I found the hardest was direction but we knew that was going to be the case in the first place as the whole routine was very advanced.

Overall I really enjoyed creating this prelim.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Here is my unfinished engaging version of my analysis. It will be up fully tommorow I promise.

Just to put your mind at rest.

My conventions of hip hop music videos will be on here tonight. I'm just changing it from a text post to a prezi so it's more engaging.

However some of the points i've made are really obvious. Might be because of my choice of songs.

  • Nelly ft Kelly Rowland - Gone
  • Young Money - Bed rock
  • Soulja boy tell 'em - Kiss me thru the phone
  • R. Kelly - Ignition
  • Jay-Z + Kanye West - Otis
  • Snoop Dog ft Pharrell - Beautiful
I'd like to clarify I only knew of two of those songs. The rest were chosen (very graciously) by my dear sister. I have nothing else to say. Bye.