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A2 Media Studies – Music Video

Tom Johnson

Category

Evaluation

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research & planning and evaluation stages? (Evaluation Question)

Answered by Sebastian Sergeant

Talking Points:

Research

  • Youtube
  • Search Engines

Planning

  • Word
  • Powerpoint

Construction

  • Photoshop
  • Camera
  • Premiere Pro
  • Sony Vegas
  • Youtube

Evaluation

  • Premiere Pro
  • Microphone
  • GIF’s

How effective is the combination of main product and ancillary texts ?

Question Answered by Tom Johnson

How effective is the combination of your main product & ancillary text?

In order to get the best possible combination of products we first analysed other similar artists within our chosen genre (indie electronic)  and how they used a combination of products to promote their music. One artist we studied was Mansionair who is the artist of the song we chose to do for our music video, one key feature we found within products for the song ‘Easier’ was a sense of consistency to help portray to the audience that all of the products relate to the same song.

Another key feature we found within their thumbnail, music video and cover art was a simplistic colour scheme which was primarily black and white, this appeared to be a common theme amongst all of the products within this genre so we decided to stay true to the genre and use these conventions in our products as well. We also decided to stay true to the artist Mansionair as it was their product we were promoting, therefore, we decided to use all the conventions they had used to help our products consistent with theirs.

Another artist we analysed was EDEN  and we found similar results with him as well, We analysed the products relating to his song ‘Drugs’ We found a similar colour scheme with all 3 products being quite dull and lacking colour and we found they have a sense of consistency.

We feel as if we have created a set of 3 products which link beautifully together as they have a strong sense of consistency, Throughout our music video, it features scenes of upset and despair as the two characters go through some troubling times after a breakup. this is also portrayed through our ancillary texts as the digipak and poster, as well as the thumbnail for the video, all contain the two actors back to back whilst being blended into each other. This portrays the relationship as they were one unit however they are trying to break free from each other’s grip.

As seen in this set of 4 images (Thumbnail, Poster, Digipak & Video Snippet) we have maintained a strong consistency and used a limited colour scheme to help blend into the genre and stay true to Mansionair’s original colour scheme. This is extremely effective in serving its purpose as it was designed to advertise the artist and their song. Throughout our ancillary texts, the artist name is bold and easy to read in the font we selected and the song name is present at all times as well.  This consistency nicely links all 3 products together to create one overall experience of the audience.

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What have you learned from your audience feedback?

There were numerous opportunities for us to improve from audience feedback. In order to help structure this question, I decided to answer it in a timeline and point out at what points of the music video people liked and didn’t like, changes we have made, and changes we felt didn’t need to be made. WARNING: This post contains a lot of GIF’s so it may take a moment to load them all.


00:00 – 00:24

This section of the music video is the opening/establishing shots which we as a group were happy about from the start, we felt it opened the music video well and through numerous thought beats we are able to show multiple shots of the location whilst maintaining consistency in the way the music video flows together to tell a story.  We had suggestions to make improvements for example on the shot where you can see into the distance through the broken window we had a suggestion to chop it up on a few more of the beats so it pans from the top to the bottom quicker and adds interest to the video, I decided against this feedback as I tried the suggestion and it made the video look too chopped up and it ruined the flow of the establishing shots.

window


00:25 – 00:33

This small section of the music video changed drastically over the course of the rough edits through self-improvement and audience feedback, in the first rough cut it shows the two characters faces looking up at the ceiling in slow motion to try and convey their emotions to the audience. As a group and from listening to the opinions of others we decided this didn’t look right as the quality of the music video decreased if these shots were to be left in, this is because the frame rate of the clips was significantly reduced and it made the clip look distorted and rough, this may have been good to help convey feeling to the audience, however, we wanted the quality of our music video to be as high as possible and we also want the music video to feel natural as it portrays a very real topic of interest. With this in mind, we decided to change this small section to a clip of the main actress Sain wondering aimlessly down a desolate corridor to show she is lost, both physically and mentally.

The lighting in both clips also played a part in the reason why we decided to change, as the clip on the left which was the original rough cut was quite light and could be seen as happy/bright however due to the nature of the music video we didn’t want this to be the meaning that was being portrayed, therefore, we opted to chose the darker more ominous clip to suggest the actor is going through a dark time in their life.


00:34 – 00:42

This was quite an iconic clip in the music video as it shows both actors with their hands up against the wall however they are separated, the shot pans from one side of the wall to the other side of the wall and ends with the two actors breaking through their separation and coming together. This is a powerful clip in the music video as it shows that even though they may have been recently separated due to complication in the relationship, they still have an underlying love for each other. In the original cut of the music video this clip was very shaky and broke up the consistency of the music video therefore in post production we used what is called ‘Warp Stabilisation’ this is when it analyses the shot and finds ways to stabilise it. The reason we opted to do this is because throughout the music video the actors change their state of mind quite frequently to show the different stages they are going through, for example in the earlier scenes of the music video they are seen to be quite docile and as the music video progresses they become more and more angry and violent. Therefore as this clip is still fairly early on in the music video we wanted to keep everything smooth to help portray to audiences that they are currently in a somewhat stable frame of mind.

Upon stabilising this clip we asked a group of people what they felt was being portrayed at that moment in time and most of the people we asked said ‘The two still love each other even though they are split up’, I then asked them what the stability of the camera work was portraying and they said ‘They are in a stable frame of mind at that current time’

The audience in which we asked also felt the colouring was off from one side of the wall to the other, They felt the shot of the female hand was quite pale and lacking in colour, whereas the shot of the male hand was quite yellow in colour. Therefore we fixed this using some colour correction and we made the shot of the males hand pale to match the colouring on the shot of the female hand. With the shots lacking in colour it portrays to the audience that they isn’t much of a spark between the two characters anymore and the lack of colour feels quite cold to look at which could suggest misery.


00:43 – 00:50

This is a clip of the two actors back to back whilst being separated by the wall and we used decided to use one of ‘Andrew Goodwin’s 6 features of music videos’ in this case we used ‘Relationship between lyrics and visuals.’ The shot shows the two actors back to back and then the lyric ‘We’re nowhere to be found’ can be heard, at which point both of the characters disappear with a seamless transition.

fade-away

We asked audiences what they thought the significance of this clip was and the majority of people said something along the lines of ‘Their love for each other has faded and they are no longer with each other, as they’re nowhere to be found.’ This was what we intended from this shot with the emphasis of the lyric ‘We’re’ suggesting both of them are lost in their ways and they have decided to split up suggesting they’re no longer to be found together.


00:51 – 1:06

This is a series of clips which show the main male actor wondering lost throughout this desolate building trying to find some sense within his situation. This set of 3 clips has stayed the same from rough cut to final edit except for one change. We showed our rough cut to audiences and they felt the 1st of the 3 clips didn’t belong in the music video as it felt too unnatural. This clip involved the camera operator Sebastian, being under the floor pointing the camera upwards and showing the main male actor walking over the gap in the floor. The audience felt this clip had no real purpose apart from showing a variety of camera shot types and they felt it broken up the narrative too much. Therefore we decided to change it to a shot of the camera above the main male actor as he wonders through the building.

Another significate thing the audience pointed out was that the camera under the actor looking up suggested he had power, whereas the shot of the camera looking down on him suggested he was powerless. Therefore we decided to change the clip to the shot of the camera looking down on his to show he is powerless in the current situation as there is nothing he can do to rekindle the love the two once had.


1:07 – 1:16

This was another iconic scene from our music video that was a favourite amongst audiences, It features the two actors walking down the same courtyard whilst being faded out. In order to achieve this we positions the tripod in one set location and then had the actors walk along at separate times, one after the other, then in post editing, we overlay the two clips on top of each other to give the illusion they are walking past each other but they are faded out. The audience we showed the music video had no faults with this scene however we as a group notice that one was walking distinctively faster than the other, therefore I change this and made them walk at the same pace with a simple slow-motion effect. The intended effect for this scene was to portray to the audience that the couple would at one point walk down that courtyard together however now they are walking it alone but seeing the other person walking the opposite way. This helps reinforce the imagery that the relationship is broken and the couple are no longer together.

Faded Walking.gif


1:17 – 1:39

This is a set of 3 clips, 2 clips show the main actors struggle to cope and the 3rd clip is a mystery to audiences. This set of 3 clips has remained the same from rough cut to final edit as the audience and us as a group couldn’t find a fault with them. They build on the narrative and help the flow of the music video. In the first clip, the main actor’s reflection can be seen staring back at him in the rippling water. This helps to portray to audiences that he is going through a tough time and it shows his emotions are like the ripples in the water (unstable and come in waves).  The second clip shows the main actor playing the guitar whilst staring off into the distance. One minor thing has changed in the clip and that is that it now zooms out from his face as oppose to zooming in on his face. The 3rd and final clip of this sequence as mentioned before is a mystery to audiences. It shows a door slowly opening and a hand

The 3rd and final clip of this sequence as mentioned before is a mystery to audiences. It shows a door slowly opening and a hand emerging, this is significant as the arm doesn’t appear to be the main actors had as the clothing wasn’t the same. The reason we created this clip was because one of the lyrics that comes later in the song is “You’re the king of cheaters” therefore this minor clip in the music video could be the answer to everyone’s main question “Why have they broken up?”. This sense of mystery is installed in audiences and keeps them engaged with the music video to find out what happens, however, we kept the music video quite open to interpretation so that the audience can draw their own conclusions based one personal experiences. When we asked audiences what they thought of this 3rd clip in the sequence they were all confused as to who this ‘Mystery Man’ was, which is exactly what we wanted. Therefore we learnt from them that we should keep the clip we way it is. This shot of the mystery man comes right before the 1sr electronic drop of the song to build tension.


1:40 – 2:13

This 33-second portion of the music video is the first electronic drop of the song and it has vastly improved since the rough cut. Numerous comments were made from audiences and we learnt a lot from gathering feedback. In the initial rough cut of the video, this 33-second sequence was purely filled with shots of the couple and how they used to be before the split, We left the clips natural in colour to show the purity of the relationship. However upon showing audiences the rough cut of our music video countless people didn’t realise this sequence of shots were suppose to be a flashback scene. Other members of the audience notice that the colouring of the shots inside the abandoned location were fairly orange which suggested a sense of warmth when they are separated, and the clips outside when they are together felt quite cold as the colours we blues and greens. This left audiences confused as they felt the colouring should be the other way round (Cold when separated, warm when together). With this in mind, we change the sequence to have an orange hue and feathered edges to make it look like a flashback. Upon showing audiences this newest version of the music video they still couldn’t tell it was a flashback, nor could they suggest way to make it look like one either. Therefore as a group, we had an idea to cut back and forth between ‘present’ and ‘past’ to give the illusion that they are thinking about the good times they had together.

We learnt a lot from audience feedback on this section of the music video we learnt the importance of audience feedback as we now feel we have maximised the potential the flashback scene could have had.


2:14 – 2:36

This section of the music video has also remained the same from rough cut to the final version and this is because this scene is extremely vital to the music video. It shows the male one side of the wall and his struggle to cope as he becomes violent and starts to break stuff, then it pans across and shows the females psychological struggle to cope and she holds her head in her hands. This scene is important as it follows immediately after the first drop of the song, therefore we thought we’d take the opportunity to switch up the characters mental states and show how the healing process progresses. At the start of the music video the actors were fairly docile and now they are becoming more and more frustrated with the breakup. Audiences felt this scene was quite powerful as it really portrays their struggle to cope. The location also play a huge part in making this scene special as we managed to find an identical set of rooms side by side, this meant we could position the tripod in the opening on the two rooms and if we panned from side to side you could see the entirety of the two rooms. This was absolutely perfect and vital to the success of this music video as this set of rooms features throughout the music video.

split-room


2:37 – 3:00

This is a section of clips which shows a variety of events unfolding, It begins with the main male actor throwing a brick through a broken window followed by some B-Roll shots of the location to further portray the actor’s emotions as they are deserted and non-existent. After that, it shows the main actor walking through the abandoned building and then we use match on action to show him walking through a field in which he stops, and sees his ex, standing there faded before him. One issue we encountered with this section of clips is the part when the actress is faded standing in front of the actor. A lot of the audience thought she may have been dead and this wasn’t the indented meaning, however, we decided to leave it the way it was because as mentioned earlier, this music video it open to interpretation meaning audience can take their own meaning from it. In a sense, I guess she is dead, as the relationship has ceased and they may feel as if they are dead inside without each other.

Park Faded.gif


3:01 – 3:32

This is another sequence of clips that begins with the two actors back to back against a different wall to further display the location and to further emphasise the separation, this time we decided to place them either side of a thicker wall to show the separation is growing. After this, the main actor is once again shown playing the guitar and at the change of the beat, it cuts to him walking whilst taking the guitar off. Upon asking the audience what they thought of this small sequence they all anticipated something was going to happen with the guitar which is exactly what we were aiming for when we shot these clips. We wanted to build suspense and as the music video is drawing to a close we wanted to show the peak of the emotion running through the character.

Before the Smash.gif


3:33 – 3:46

This is another iconic part of the music video in which the main actor smashes up a guitar, the reason we chose to make this a part of the music video is because Guitars create beautify in the for of music and sometimes relationships can be beautiful things, therefore to show the death of a beautiful relationship we decided to have the main actor smash up the guitar. We added a slight orange hue in post production as well to show to the audience that he is finding a sense of warmth in smashing up the guitar. On shoot day for the music video we wrote “- With Love” on the guitar, however, it was extremely faded. The reason we wanted this to show up is because it would have portrayed to audiences that the guitar was a gift from the female and he is smashing it up in rage.

Guitar Smash.gif

We also used a thought beat at this part of the music video to maintain consistency and show the music video was intended for this song as the first initial hit of the guitar on the wall is perfectly timed to the first beat on the second electronic drop of the song. As mentioned earlier, we wanted to build suspense and as the music video is drawing to a close we wanted to show the peak of the emotion running through the character. We asked audiences what their opinions of this scene were, and the majority of people said it was emotional and heartfelt, which was what we were aiming for with this shot.


3:47 – 4:30

As the second electronic drop of the song draws to an end we see a shot of a fire in slowmotion, we asked audiences what they thought our intentions for this shot were and everyone said ‘They are burning their memories’ As the music video comes to an end we felt with was appropriate as they are burning their memories and moving on.

To follow the shot of the fire we see a panning shot of the broken guitar so show the destruction of the relationship.

Finally, the music video goes back to the opening shot from the beginning of the 2 actors back to back and then slowly fade out, to fully cease the relationship and move on.


Overall we learnt a lot from audience feedback and as a group, we think we have made a really good product that was extremely well throughout and the audience feedback helped us understand and realise the full potential of the music video. Audience Feedback is an extremely useful tool and a lot can be learnt from utilising the resource.

  • This question was answered by Lewis Bensley

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

 

Question Answered by: Lewis Bensley

Script

During the research for our product, we found a number of different conventions within our chosen music genre, which was indie electronic. We consistently found that a blue hue was used in the genre to give a cold feel to the music videos, as primarily the genre is quite slow and down tempo. One example of this is a song known as Drugs by an artist called EDEN. Throughout the video, the audience is made to feel connected to the music video in the events that it portrays whilst maintaining a sense of distance through the cold blue hue. The music video also features a range of flashback scenes, which primarily have an orange saturation to them. This makes the audience feel warmer and seek comfort in the video, as they may be able to relate to a happy time in their life.

With this in mind we wanted to follow a similar pattern within our music video, however, we opted to leave the clips quite raw and untouched in terms of colouration. This is because we wanted our audience to feel at the core of the video as it portrayed a broken relationship in which both the boy and the girl are struggling to cope. Throughout a lifetime everyone goes through hardships and breakups therefore in our music video we wanted to make it connect with the audience. We do however have flashback scenes in our music video to show what the relationship was like before. To give these a sense of warmth we gave them an orange hue. This, therefore, uses and develops the genre as we kept the convention of warm flashback, however, we made our music video more natural and engaging as oppose too cold and unnatural.

One way in which we challenged the genre’s conventions was through thought beats, usually in music videos of this genre is it purely narrative based and is one smooth and constant video however with our music video we decided to chop it up quite a lot and show a range of different emotions the characters were going through during the healing process of the relationship. By chopping up the music video it meant we had a range of different cuts and scenes, this meant we could create a variety of thought beats to help the music video stay consistent & tell a story but still managing to show a range of shot types. One example of this is when the main male actor smashes a guitar; the first initial hit is timed perfectly to the electronic ‘drop’ of the song. Another example is the establishing shots, at the start of the song, there is a range of beats in which cuts could be applied to and we decided to use them to our advantage. This allowed us to add multiple shots of our location to fully establish it whilst creating numerous thought beats to maintain constancy within the video and to help it flow better.

One way in which we develop conventions of the genre is through our camera work. As the genre is primarily about telling a story, the music videos are kept quite raw with hand-held cameras, this helps the audience relate as it almost looks like they are there in person watching the events unfold. With our music video, we mix both stable and handheld shots together to give a sense of uncertainty amongst audiences. This helps keep them on edge and engaged with the music video. The mixture of shots also helps the narrative, the stable and steady shots show the stable elements of the healing process when they are calm and level headed but still hurting, and the unsteady shots show the points at which the characters are the unstable and are unpredictable in their behaviour.

In the music videos of this genre they aren’t heavily edited, the hue or saturation may be changed and the cuts are made to make the narrative make sense, it is also clear that in the music video of this genre the storyline is purely shown through the shots and the order in which they play. Our music video it is heavily edited and this editing helps to tell part of the story as well as the shots. Frequent short, sharp shots are scattered throughout the first electronic ‘drop’ of the song to show a brief relationship with few happy memories. Slower and longer shots of the actors struggle to cope help reinforce the idea that it takes a long time to heal from a relationship.

Another thing that is clear in music videos of this genre is that when events of hardship are shown the blue hue gives a sense that the event in question isn’t meant to be enjoyed and it’s not a nice thing to go through, one example of this again is in the video Drugs by EDEN. In this music video a man is shown entering a horrible looking location to purchase hard painkillers to help his girlfriend cope with Cancer, this is not a nice event to go through therefore the cold blue hue suggests this, one way in which we challenge this is through the smashing of the guitar, we purposely gave this an orange hue to suggest the actor is getting comfort from smashing up the guitar as it was a present from his recently departed ex. The fire scene which follows the guitar scene was also purposely edited with an orange hue to suggest he finds happiness in burning their memories.

Overall in our music video we use, develop & challenge different forms and conventions of real media products within our chosen genre and we feel as if we have created a music video which deserves its place within the genre as it portrays a hardship in an unusual but relatable way which engages and grips audiences and does the artist of the song justice in that we create something in which they themselves are proud of.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

INSERT VIDEO HERE}

Script:

How effective is the combination of your main product & ancillary text?

In order to get the best possible combination of products we first analysed other similar artists within our chosen genre (indie electronic)  and how they used a combination of products to promote their music. One artist we studied was Mansionair who is the artist of the song we chose to do for our music video, one key feature we found within products for the song ‘Easier’ was a sense of consistency to help portray to the audience that all of the products relate to the same song.

Another key feature we found within their thumbnail, music video and cover art was a simplistic colour scheme which was primarily black and white, this appeared to be a common theme amongst all of the products within this genre so we decided to stay true to the genre and use these conventions in our products as well. We also decided to stay true to the artist Mansionair as it was their product we were promoting, therefore, we decided to use all the conventions they had used to help our products consistent with theirs.

Another artist we analysed was EDEN  and we found similar results with him as well, We analysed the products relating to his song ‘Drugs’ We found a similar colour scheme with all 3 products being quite dull and lacking colour and we found they have a sense of consistency.

We feel as if we have created a set of 3 products which link beautifully together as they have a strong sense of consistency, Throughout our music video, it features scenes of upset and despair as the two characters go through some troubling times after a breakup. this is also portrayed through our ancillary texts as the digipak and poster, as well as the thumbnail for the video, all contain the two actors back to back whilst being blended into each other. This portrays the relationship as they were one unit however they are trying to break free from each other’s grip.

As seen in this set of 4 images (Thumbnail, Poster, Digipak & Video Snippet) we have maintained a strong consistency and used a limited colour scheme to help blend into the genre and stay true to Mansionair’s original colour scheme. This is extremely effective in serving its purpose as it was designed to advertise the artist and their song. Throughout our ancillary texts, the artist name is bold and easy to read in the font we selected and the song name is present at all times as well.  This consistency nicely links all 3 products together to create one overall experience of the audience.

{Show Project files}

How did you use media technologies in the construction, researchnd planning and evaluation stages?

{INSERT VIDEO}

Answered by Sebastian Sergeant

Talking Points:

Research

  • Youtube
  • Search Engines

Planning

  • Word
  • Powerpoint

Construction

  • Photoshop
  • Camera
  • Premiere Pro
  • Sony Vegas
  • Youtube

Evaluation

  • Premiere Pro
  • Microphone
  • GIF’s

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