Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Big (and last minute) developments in my storyboard

So i've made some big changes to my music video, I went out to film and found out that virtually all of my ideas were too ambitious and I didn't have the resources to film this so i've had to scrap the idea. I've decided to go for a safer approach of having a a main stage performance that intercuts the artist sitting on a bench where people and things will happen that relates to the lyrics. Although i'm less pleased with this idea it's a lot safer and will be possible to film. A comparison of the two storyboards will be posted later

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Weekend weather

I plan to film everything this weekend, i've checked the met office and on saturday it's meant to be kind of sunny but this is the best i'm gonna get in winter so saturday is my day.

Three more scenes

Two more scenes
View more presentations from coulstond.

Here's 3 more basic scenes for my music video, I plan to film this weekend so a lot of this will most likely change.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Digipak - Rough design

This is the rough design for my Digipak, obviously it's not the best looking Digipak at the moment but it gives you a rough idea of how I want my Digipak laid out. I'm going for a red, green and yellow colour scheme, a classic reggae colour set. On the inside I want pictures of instruments but the pictures will be enhanced to be darker and next to them will be text about the artist and how his career has spanned across the years.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Shots for my Music video - Opening

I've decided to take some scenery shots for the opening to my music video. I intend to do a introduction to set up the narrative for my video, essentially it is a camp hammer horror style set up where a guy finds a chest and opens it and the artist appears out of the chest. The song will not be playing during this opening and it will mainly be diagetic sounds. One thing to keep in mind is that some of these shots might not be used and some might be added but the location used in the shots will be used but just done up to look more gloomy etc.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lyrics to my song

You got to make it on your own
You're so alone
You got to make it on your own
You're so alone

Mercy lord I beg you since
I have become a man
Won't you understand
I'm a sweet and loving man

if you is so rude
In a mellow way
Then that's ok

If it's so bad
Lookin' for the steel
Then you know you got to feel
then you know you got to feel
As I would rock it to you baby
Mercy lord I beg you since
I have become a man
Won't you understand
I'm a sweet and loving man X2

If it's life that you're loving
There ain't nothing more to do
If it's life that you're loving
There ain't nothing more to do

If there is a place for everyone
In your art
Then you would never get a better start

If there is a place for everyone
In your heart
Then you would never get a better start

Mercy you understand
I'm a sweet and loving man

Monday, 26 September 2011

Characteristics of reggae music videos

Peter Tosh on the Bush doctor tour, 1978
Reggae music video's tend to be mainly performance based, the editing is normally slow to fit with the beat of the song and narrative/concept videos are rare. The performers in the video's are normally of African/ Carribean descent, most of the time representing their rastafari relgion either by use of the Jamaican flag of lion of Jamaica.

There is no specific outfit for reggae performers but it tends to be loose baggy clothing, as seen in the picture below it differs wildy from person to person.

Beenie man
Robbie Shakespeare
   To fit with the record labels needs there will usually be lots of close up's of the artists body and face to show the audience the mood and feeling of the song so they can identify with it.

Newer reggae video's tend to include a more militant and political feel to them to fit in with the new wave of militant reggae artists like the video below by Damian Marley

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Audience feedback on my storyboard ideas.

In class we presented our storyboards for our music videos to get some outside perspectives and bring some fresh ideas in. This has helped me greatly and I now have a definite vision in my head of what I want to do with my song. I'll post my actual storyboard later but for now I'll list some of the ideas I got from my class, mainly to do with shot types.

When I spoke about my storyboard I was told about a Lily Allen video which very much represents the main idea I have for my video, that the main character would see a different reality to what the viewer see's, although my idea is going for a more comedic feel than this video. I also really like the long shots used in this video from a side angle as she walks from place to place as it shows what is happening around the character and as she is walking it helps keep a sense of pace which I will need to achieve in my video, it's also a great way to variate from the POV shots I intend to use.

Another video I was told about was one directed by Spike Jonze for the artist MC 900ft Jesus, this video helped me see the sort of pace I want to achieve with my video although the editing will not be so fast as mine has to fit in with the genre characteristics of Reggae. The video fits with my idea of a main character entering these different scenes whilst stuff happens in the background for comedic effect although I want my protagonist to have more interaction with the world than the main character does in this video.

I'll update this post as I get more audience feedback

Update 1!:
So i've changed my storyboard ideas around a bit, It still hold the same narrative structure as before but will disgard the use of pov shots and will now have two main characters, The artist and the protaganist.

This is Alice, Alice wasn't too impressed with my storyboard ideas as you can clearly see
"I think you're idea's a bit too abstract and might be difficult to shoot, you should probably just do a performance video"

Bah Humbug! I decided not to listen to Alice's negativity and talked to some more people

This is Dan, he was impressed with my ideas. "That's a great idea, it's gonna take some time to do but if you get it done it'll be awesome!" That's more like it!
Josh liked my idea as well, "Cool man, I like that you're not conforming to just a normal stage video as most reggae videos are, I look forward to seeing it". I like the way this is going.

This is George, as you can see he wasn't too fussed about my storyboard one way or the other. "Yeah dude, I like you're idea but it's not as good as mine" We'll see about that!
Leah loved my idea as well, she was well enthusiastic. "That's so cool! I can't wait to see what it turns out like!"
That's 3 outta 5 positive reviews, not bad at all...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A level media go!

We've been given the task of creating a music video of a song we picked from a list of 23 songs. I picked track number 16, a reggae song with a fast pace for a song of that genre.
Track 16 (mp3)

 I've formed a basic idea for the music video, I hope to make it mainly a narrative and concept based video with little to no performance in it. I want to use effects like a fisheye lens on the camera to distort everything on the peripheries of the camera and to bring more focus on the center of the screen and also try messing with some tones on the video like using a sepia tone used in the video below

I thought the idea of using a fisheye lens would be good after seeing it used in a couple of movies such as the use of it for the robot HAL 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, I think it greatly highlights the uses of a fisheye lens as it centralises the character and forces the audience to focus on them.  The use of the lens mentioned above can be seen at around 9:20 into the video below

I chose song 16 because of it's genre, reggae, which I knew was not neccesarily limited to 1 type of the three music video types; performance, concept and narrative. for inspiration I looked at the video for Buffalo soldier by reggae legend Bob marley as it used a small amount of performance and was mainly comprised of concept and narrative which encapsulated the rough idea I have in my head for the music video i'm going to make.

For the story of my music video I took some inspiration for Pretty fly for a white guy by Offspring although obviously as mine is a reggae song there will be some obvious changes.

Here's a couple of the inspirations i've used for my storyboard of my music video, I'll post more over time

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Film Opening - Final piece

We posted our final product and asked for some feedback from friends to tell us what they liked and what they thought we could adress/improve :

Daniel Finn : I really like the vintage quality to your film and also you made the location work well. highlights including the the tacking shot out of the tent into the sunlight, tracking shot from behind josh and the film title blending the shot into an image. you could of perhaps of given the shots colder look to them in post edit to cancel out the sunny weather but good stuff.

Thomas Graves : Worked very well with the set and feel of the music and picture quality fitted very well with the theme, very straight ahead beginning, lots of plot development, can't really think of anything wrong with it.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

When our groups were given our preliminary tasks I had never made a film and had barely used a camera before, I had never edited before and didn't even know what software to use and how to use it. Due to this there were a lot of mistakes in our preliminary task but I feel that these mistakes ended up greatly benefiting us when we did our film opening as I could learn from my past mistakes and thus have a better idea of how to actually shoot and edit our opening.

I think the biggest mistake in our preliminary was the lack of organisation and storyboarding so when it came time to film we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we were shooting. When we made our opening we made a concise storyboard that showed all the shots we wanted so when it came time to film we knew exactly what we were doing. The storyboard also helped us as a group to share our ideas and work together to try and find the best shots we could use.

As well as helping in pre-production this improved storyboard also allowed us to settle on the right atmosphere for our opening when it came time to edit in post production.

Another major problem we had that came with the organisational issues we had in our preliminary was that we did not delegate jobs very well and it ended up being a bit of a mess as people ended up taking turns editing and filming and while this was fairer it caused a lack of direction and made it hard to keep a simple flow. With our opening we delegated one person to film, with thoughts from the other two members on what shots might look good whilst doing there jobs, and this allowed for a more natural and smooth flow to our film and also eliminated any chance or arguments about how something should be done.

As I now had more experience holding a camera and knew some of the basic mistakes that could be made with a camera I could now explore a wider range of camera angles to use in our opening allowing for a more fleshed out and interesting piece. Coupled with the greater amount of experience I had with editing tools I could add in things like sound effects, voice overs and music to enhance our opening. It also allowed us to add in more complex title sequences that I really feel add to the movie and allowed us to express the themes and atmosphere we wanted to show in our film opening. . I would have to say that editing was the most notable improvement I had made between the two tasks.

All in all i'd have to say that the knowledge and experience I have with recording and editing have greatly improved since my preliminary task and this has allowed me to use more imaginative camera angles and allow for a greater range of editing techniques that add to the film

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

6. What did we learn about technology from the process of constructing our product?

In the process of using a wide variety of both new and old technologies in our media production, we have learnt a great deal. It has given us insight into how we would do things differently if we were asked to produce a similar product again.
We encountered many peoblems with technology, that we solved in different ways to ensure a good end result.

Use of Macs and PCs
One of our biggest problems was that we started off using both Macs and Pcs. The way different editting programs saved files differed between the two devices, meaning that when we tried to transffer different sections from one to the other, the files would not open. We overcame this problem by transferring different shots and editing from the macs onto the PC. This took a lot of time, but helped, as we finally had all our ost production happening on the same style computers. If asked to do again in the future, i would definitely make sure we only used Pc's as it simplifies post procuction an enourmous amount considering we had three people working on the same thing.

The programs we used for our post production where:

  • Adobe Flash - For animation of the title sequences and animation of text withing the title sequence.
  • Adobe Photoshop - To produce the logo, and moving images in the title sequences
  • Adobe Premier Pro - For our editing
  • Final cut express - We tried using this for editing, but stopped due to its incompatability with PC's
  • iMovie - To convert files and veiwraw footage
The compatability of Adobe programsd with eachother really helped in our production, as we could transfer  different parts of our production from one platform to another (this may have used the program Adobe Bridge)
How we used new and old internet technologies

Internet resources we used were:

  • YouTube - To research music and similar films
  • Slideshare - To produce animatimatic and storyboard.
  • A Microsoft Silverlight slideshow - Another animatic and storyboard program.
Youtube was such a valuable tool for our proudction, saving an enourmous amount of time in finding music for the film as all the music was readily avaliable and searchable. If asked to proudce4 a media product again, i would definetly use YouTube again, as it's the best resource for internet video research in my opinion.

Filming technlogies
Our choice of camera was essential, as our film involved a wide variety of shots used in different ways. We chose a light, small handicam that shot in reasonably high definition. The camera was especially useful in the tracking shot, resulting in a product that looked authentic. 
A more sophisticated version of a Steadicam

We did have a problem with one of the tripods, resulting in slightly choppy panning shots, but this was replaced for different shots in order to keep them stable. We also used a steady cam to keep our camera steady when we did the over the shoulder shots following the main character

In conclusion, technology played a massive role in our film opening production, and we learnt a agreat deal about it. There are definitely things we would do differently if asked to produce a similar film, but we are happy with the result achieved.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

The type of audience we are trying to attract is small yet stable audience with an age range of 18-40 who would maybe be more male than female. This is the type of audience that would likely be interested in a movie with such a historic focus and also the focus on war will attract more adult views. The target audience may not know anything particular about this period in time but will be attracted to the movie due to an interest in history and also because they might have seen other movies like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down which also take place in a war enviroment. We set our movie in war time Russia to mix the history aesthetic with the fact it's a war movie to broaden our target audience and the themes explored in the movie are of a nature that will appeal to an adult audience.

The film would most likely be given a 15 by the British Film Board of Classification due to the adult nature of the film and this age rating doesn't really limit our audience particularly as our target audience is mainly an adult one. We'll market the film as a war movie to broaden it's appeal to adult audiences but also show it in small art house cinemas to further widen the audience it could attract. The movie's serious tone and nature appeal to adults and the historical aspects of it will also appeal to history lovers who are above the age of 15.

We could also show the film on terrestrial television on channels such as channel 4, known for it's indie friendly attitude and large share of television viewers, or a channel such as Yesterday which focuses on Historical documentaries, dramas and films and has an target audience that matches completely with the target audience of our movie allowing us to securely grab our audience and get them to see our film.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

The general audience for this media product was aimed at those interested in history and war films. However Because of this, we believe that this a rather large target audience due to its war style genre and that the cast it’s fairly male dominated we think this opens it up to an audience of males from the age 15 upwards.

For example “Black Hawk Down” another war film took $274,347 (USA) in its opening weekend. Due to it being based on history we believe that this opens the film up to mixed gender audience of those who are lovers of history also. Another example is “Saving Private Ryan” another war film but based on the invasion of Normandy took $30,576,104 in its opening weekend at the box office. We have tried to keep it as open as possible but we are aware that it is still a very acquired taste in film for many people so we will not be able to expect our audience to be an incredibly large and diverse one, we should instead focus on one secure and small target audience.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Our media product is considered to be an independent project alongside the fact that is a historically based movie set in 1917 Russia. The movie is produced by Red Star productions, a production company focused on small independent historical movies that have a small but reliable audience with an interest in these types of movies. As the film cost little to make in relative terms it has a higher and more secure chance of making it's money back due to the stable nature of our audience which will be a helpful factor when it comes to securing a distribution deal. however we need to make sure that the movie will also cover the distribution costs as well as the production costs.

In comes Insurge Pictures, a distribution company targeted towards "Micro-Budget films", with budgets of up to $100,000 each, founded in 2010 by parent company Paramount studios who is known for the distribution of two ctitically acclaimed war movies, Saving private Ryan and Enemy at the Gates (One of the inspirations for making our movie).
Insurge would be a good choice for a distributor due to it's attitude towards indie films and the relationship it has with a well known company such as Paramount studios which allows the movie to reach out to a bigger audience because vertical integration Insurge has with Paramount studios.

Another route we could take would be finding a distributor that could show our movie over terrestrial television as that may be a better and more secure way of gaining an audience for our movie. Channel 4 is well known for it's friendly attitude towards indie movies, the well known Film4 is specifically made to produce movies from well known independent directors, and with Channel 4 being a well known name across UK television it would help spread our movie to a wider audience. Channel 4 also has "almost universal coverage in the United Kingdom and some neighbouring countries" allowing for our movie to be shown overseas as well widening the potential audience we have by a significant amount as our film would most likely find success in a more European audience, due to the nature of the film, compared to trying to market it to a American audience. Film4 also has a very successful history in producing Independent films with very popular films such as Trainspotting and Slumdog millionaire so if our film were to be shown on the Film4 channel brand association with them might also help widen our target audience.
I believe we have been realistic in our choice of potential distribution company, as both these companies have a history of supporting small, arthouse films, and in a lot of cases make them a lot of money.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Due to the historical nature of our film, no social groups are directly respresented by our film. However, the actions of our main character show how the responsibility for the actions taking place rest on this one man's shoulders. The idea of this main charachter may be relatable to by older audiences, or perhaps if we developed more of the film we could explore the idea of him going though a transitional period of having no responsibilities to a position where lives are at risk. The older end of our target audience, generally those 25+ would be able to relate to our characters struggle.The representation in the film is also primarily male, suggesting a similar pattern in the groups represented.

Finally, the military style of the film may be representative of both present day and retired military personnel, and could help show to the audience the struggles faced by those fighting in current wars, and the decisions they need to make in order to keep themselves and thie team safe from harm.

Although not strictly a social group, we felt this film could act as something to inform people about the events of WWI, especially as it is an important part of the UK's history. This representation could cause the film to have success in other European nations, as it represents groups from bygone days in these countries and as it deals with a mainly European event in history it would be unwise to try and market it to an American audience.

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

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Red october (Working title)

Below is the basic storyboard we came up with for our 2 minute opening. It begins with a suit up scene ( The character "suiting up" to go outside) before the character exits the tent and walks past a camp of refugees/soldiers before stopping at the top of hill and looking down on two bodies which is then followed by a camera pan up in to the sky

This is only our basic storyboard and more ideas have been added as time has gone by. We decided to add in some scenic shots of the forest which is then seperated by credits allowing the suit up scene to run smoothly and to also help establish the area the film will be set in. We may also decide to change and fiddle about with some shots as we film so this storyboard is not 100%

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Film Opening - Title Sequence

We came up with the idea of combining the initial shots in our film of the general putting on his military uniform with the screens with the titles. By breaking up these shots with titles, we created a smoother looking transitions between the shots. We also added a unique touch to the title screens to keep things interesting and hold the veiwers attention, as in our opinion we believed that the title sequemces shouldn't be kept on the sidelines, but actually be an interesting part of our production. This was done using a typewriter effect of the text onto the background, accompanied by pictures of famous scenes and people from our era and location. The typewriter effect exagerrated the historic theme of the film opening and allowed us to keep our serious tone.

 Here is an example of one of the opening title slides. The typewriter effect will be animated in Flash CS4 and will be coupled with panning shots of the countryside whilst a slow, sad song will play over the top of them. We feel that this will keep in touch with the serious aesthetic of our movie which means that these credits will not jar the audience and look out of place with our film's historic feel. 

Film opening - Sound

In order to add atmosphere and realism to the film we considered adding enhanced sounds.

- Leather boot straps being tied.
- Sounds of crying
- Sound of the wind
- The sound of gunshots in the distance or shells falling. (this was the sound effect we ended up using)

We also ended up using two pieces of copyright free music we found on youtube. These were :

  • Les Feuilles Mortes - Yves Montand. This song had a very calm, slow and sad atmosphere so we decided to use it on the credits and panning shots used in our opening at the start.
  • Farwell to Slavianka - The Red army choir. This song has a more serious military theme to it and was used at the end of our opening for dramatic effect

Friday, 4 March 2011

Film Opening - Production company name and logo

We chose the name Red Star Productions. It sums up the genre of film opening we are producing, and is an exciting name that could become associated with producing both historic films, or those based on action and war, to produce titles similar to those found in our research:

  • Hunt for Red October
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Che
 We brainstormed for ideas for a logo. On paper, we made sketches of potential candidates, deciding we needed a logo that was bold, bright and represented the film we were producing. Eventually we combined two of our ideas coming up with the following logo.
Here is the logo produced to represent what our film company is about: It is simple yet very bold and straight to the point. The Red colour and hammer and sickle symbol were chosen as they provide a bold and recogniseable image when the logo appears in the opening titles of our film opening.

The logo was created using Adobe photoshop CS4 for the shapes, and Adobe flash CS4 for the filters and shading (flash was used as the filters can be changed in an animation, for example where the logo fades in the titles)