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.

1 comment:

  1. Aaargh! I can see there's loads here but there's also thing which I know haven't loaded as I can see the little box...I shall make your blog my priority for tomorrow.