Friday, 29 July 2011

RS - Month in Media Complete

Last week Sam Pollock and I completed editing this month's Month in Media. This post goes into a bit more detail on what Month in Media is about.

Here is the embedded video of our Month in Media

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

WS - Representation of Women in Music Video

The representation of women in music videos is an area of great controversy. Ideas and 'tactics of music video may often be described as insulting and maybe even humiliating to women. Strangely however, it is often female artists that use such techniques with people such as Lady GaGa, Rhianna and Madonna to name a few who are famed for such videos.

A theory that has often come up when looking at music videos is the "male gaze theory", which suggests that music videos will often use women with very little clothing on, who are also quite glamerous and 'busty'. The idea behind their inclusion is that they will attract a male audience or the male gaze. This kind of technique is common in music videos, despite arguably been degrading to women.

As can be seen with the previous point, women do not appear to be represented fairly in music video; they are certainly represented very differently to men. One complaint that we have come across in the study of music videos so far is that women are often objectified and are their bodies, they are not people in the same way as males are in the video but just an object.

The clothing and actions of women in music video represent that they are objects and, as with the majority of media, they have an effect on normal people, particularly the young. Music videos often seem to signify that women are rewarded for sexual acts, and that it is good to dress similarly to the female artists who many younger people will admire and look up to. This is a very negative view of women, yet seems to make the industry a lot of money. The idea that women can gain fame through dressing like this and behaving in this way is supported through cases such as those mentioned earlier in Lady GaGa, Rhianna and Madonna.

It would seem strange that female artists would agree to have themselves represented in this way as it is seen in such negative fashion, but as I have already mentioned it brings about fame and therefore money for the artists. One such reason that has come up a few times as to why an artist may want to make a controversial video is that if there is publicity surrounding it, maybe even as far as it getting banned or censored, then that will make people curious and interested in seeing the video. Having a video banned can in some cases make it more of a success for the artist, and while this and portraying women as simply objects there for the pleasure of men is making the music industry money, it is likely to carry onn for a long time.

To see more on representation of women, here is a link to a good powerpoint found on the internet. The presentation is not mine.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

RS - Month in Media

Over the past month in media lessons John (Our Media Technician) has been filming the lessons in which we gained sufficient information. Once he had filmed all of the lessons he needed he uploaded them to a Mac in the Media room. Sam Pollock and I were set the task of creating a chat show in which we would discuss the subjects such as Digitisation, Censorship and Goodwin's Three Music Video Types, we had to do this in front of a camera so we could upload it onto the same Mac as the lessons footage and edit it all into one video.

On Saturday we filmed the "Chat show" and were really happy with the results, we have begun uploading the footage to the Mac as of yesterday and will continue today however it takes some time to upload HD footage! After the footage has been uploaded we will begin to edit it all together and we aim to have it finished before Friday (the last day of term) so we can then upload it to my Youtube Channel over the holidays and then have it done for the month.

The aim of Month in Media is for a different group of about 3-4 to group together and summarise the things they learnt from Media lesson's at school. Each month they will create a chat show to discuss the subjects learnt and edit in footage from the lessons John has recorded. Its completely voluntary and will look very good on UCAS forms and CV's.

Monday, 18 July 2011

RS - Rough Cut for Mini-vid Complete!

This lesson Roam Hamilton and I finished the process of editing our Rough Cut of the Mini-vid we have been editing; the track is called The Box by Orbital and was an instrumental, and we decided to go down the concept route. We started editing on Thursday last week and edited during two lesson's and during free periods. The mini-vid is only about 30-40 seconds long because it was a very short and brief practice at music videos. We had to choose one of the three type's of music video from Goodwin's Theory and apply it to our song. We chose between a choice of three songs and we believe we found the best. 

We filmed the music video a few weeks ago and only had time to start editing last week due to Media Day and editing several other things. Overall we have learnt alot from the process. You NEED to plan very well. You NEED to shoot way more footage than you think perhaps getting loads of coverage too! The editing process does not take as long as you think so spend more time planning and filming the music video.

We did face some problems when filming this mini-vid the first problem was that the HD camcorder's battery is not brilliant and we actually ran out of battery about half way through the process of filming our practice video. However we came up with a solution of using my Iphone but the quality is not as good; but it will do just for a practice video. The second problem was that one of our actors did not have enough time to film the footage for our cross cutting section so we could not film it, however in the actual coursework we will have alot more time to work with.

The whole point of this process was to learn from our mistakes; we found out that it is vital to get a very wide selection of shots and tonnes of footage as a result we had to have our clips on for longer, however with more shots we could make the takes shorter keeping to our codes and conventions with short takes for out target audience.

Here is the rough cut for our Mini-vid

RS - The new HD camcorders

Here is a camcorder similar to the one we will be using
To add to FinalCut we will also be using the HD camcorders for the increase in the quality of the final image for our coursework. The downside is that there are only two camcorders so booking them out will be essential however the overall result will be very good. Hopefully we will not have too many problems with them like the camcorders we used for AS such as them not uploading properly. So far we have used the HD cameras on the mini-vids (ours can be seen here) and the Brit Vid, which can be seen here. Overall I am very impressed with the cameras as the battery life is far superior to the AS cameras as well as the quality really brining out details in the locations etc. I am very much looking forward to using both the new software and the cameras in our A2 coursework.

RS - Intro to FinalCut Express

FinalCut Express Logo
Since starting the A2 course recently we have been testing out the editing software named FinalCut Express. We will be using this software to edit our music videos we will be creating at A2. In FinalCut you can use a wider range of effects that iMovie and the use of audio within the software is far greater than iMovie. FinalCut has the ability to use multi-layering unlike iMovie which will be vital for scoring highly in the A2 coursework production. So far I have only had a very brief introduction to FinalCut which was a short 30 minute tutorial of the software from our Media Technician. However I have used Sony Vegas in the past which benefitted me greatly as FinalCut was not too different from that. After just playing around with the software for about half an hour it was clear that there was such a wider range of things you can do in the software than iMovie which overall is a fairly limited editing software. At first it was a little hard to do things but after about 10 mins it tended to flow alot smoother and after the 30 min session it was fairly straight forward and simple.

Friday, 15 July 2011

RS - Goodwin's Three Music Video Types

Here is Goodwin's theory for music videos being one/several of the aspects below

Performance - A performance music video will contain clips of the band/solo artist playing to the camera or a crowd depending on the video (they can be used to show off a bands new stage setup). A performance video can just be a complete live performance or just cross cut between a narrative. An example of a Performance video would be this:

Narrative - A narrative is a story within the music video based on either the lyrics or the instrumental of the song. An example of a Narrative music video would be this : (This video features a famous cameo from another band!)

Concept - A concept music video is a made up idea and can have nothing to do with the lyrics/instrumental what so ever. It doesn't have to have a storyline at all. An example of a Concept music video would be this: 

RS - Behind the Scenes of Media Day

Asa Newmarch and Kyle Meeson were in charge of filming behind the scenes of Media Day which was on Tuesday. Seeing as the footage that was filming for the actual production was filmed on an HD camera and we only have two HD cameras at school. The Behind the scenes footage had to be filmed using the camcorders we used last year for our AS media course so that quality is not as good.

They had to film whilst we were filming for the main part but also discussions before the filming, a few little interviews during the filming for student's personal opinions on how it is going/had gone, a group vodcast and some practice lip-syncing!

The behind the scenes footage was uploaded to my Youtube channel and the video can be found below.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

RS - Editing our Mini-Vid

Today myself and Roam Hamilton started work on editing our mini-vid, this is the short practice music video in which you can read a bit more detail into here.

We began work in the media lesson today and got about 15-20 seconds in so far; so not too much progress has been done, however we did come to a few problems such as getting serious lag with the footage and we could not figure out what was wrong for a while. We then had to import extra footage which was recorded onto my phone which took up a bit more time. We also had to try and figure out how to use multiple layers within Final Cut as we had forgotten and needed a bit of reminding!

Overall the process is coming on fine and we are really enjoying the challenge, we will continue with the editing for the practice video in the next few lessons and we will hope to finish by Monday.

RS - Britney Spears Car Park Scene Edited!

On Tuesday this week we got a task set to do in one day. Recreate the classic Britney Spears music video. Read more here!

Myself and Roam Hamilton, a fellow media student finished the editing of our groups particular scene (the car park scene). We both had two free's yesterday and thought we should get on with the editing, it was very useful for gaining experience using Final Cut Express (the editing software we will be using in A2 media) but also a very fun process too! We both volunteered to do the editing from our group and we are very happy with the result. We used the multiple layers within Final Cut so that we could have the orginal Britney Spears video playing in the background to make sure we had similar shots but also had the lip-syncing matched up.

The whole process was great practice for when we start coursework in September as we got experience at lip-syncing (how difficult it is!) filming a music video (you need lots of footage + coverage)  and finally the whole editing process.

You can see our version of the Car Park scene below

Here is the original version of the music video - our section starts at 1:24 and ends at 2:20

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

RS - Remake of "Hit me baby one more time" - Media Day

Firstly we were assigned into small groups of about 7-8. In these groups we also got assigned a certain time period within the music video to film. We got assigned to the Car Park sequence of the "Hit me Baby one more time" music video which takes part from 1:24 to 2:20. We had to deconstruct the whole of the music video and provide a detailed summary of the video with shot types/mise en scene etc. We also needed to make a call sheet. 

We started out the day practicing how to Lip-sync and finding it very hard indeed to do! We also went over all the call sheets to check that they were correct and reasonable. We then had a quick rehearsal of the dance moves and finally went on to record a short vodcast.

We came across a few problems when we finished the process of the filming. Firstly we did not have enough detail on our shot list therefore we had to keep looking back at the music video on Mel's Iphone; therefore we wasted a bit of time looking at the music video when we could be filming. We also didn't do enough practicing for the dancing so we had to make most of it up on the spot and therefore not all be in time. We did not have a call sheet so we did not know what order we would be filming. We had a very short time period to film the music video so if one person was messing around or not listening it made the group suffer.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

RS - Track Selection: 1st Ideas

So far I have had a couple of ideas of tracks to use for my media coursework, however this can change as there is a lot of time to gather different ideas. I believe I could implement a good story from the lyrics and sounds of the songs. I will brainstorm ideas of what to do with these videos for the coursework over the next few days so that in the next few weeks I can prepare a pitch; to be presented in class as to what my coursework will be about.

Here are the embedded songs.

RS - General Music Video Codes + Conventions: Initial List

  1. A narrative. Basically a story, possibly to do with the lyrics or possibly just made up by the producer of the music video.
  2. Clips of the band playing. This can be cross cut between the story and the band playing to show the band is doing something and can play instruments, whilst cutting to the narrative to show a story within the video.
  3. Lip-syncing is used by actors or band members on some or all of the lyrics depending on the video
  4. Male/female gaze is used to attract a large audience and to give people a reason to watch it. Using attractive women or even men can attract the audience and is called the "male gaze" theory
  5. Short takes. These are used because the target audience for music videos is youths. They get impatient with long takes and turn over the channel, with short takes more will happen because there will be more shots.
  6. Usually some sort of dancing if the genre tends to be dance, rap etc 
  7. The focus is very much on the frontman/woman and they do this by isolating them from the rest of the band or by angling them at the front of the band etc 
  8. SFX (Special effects) are used to make the video more interesting to watch and look more professional
  9. The frontman/woman gazes into the camera, as if to gaze at the audience

RS - Digitisation

Modern technology has completley changed the way music videos are filmed. With technology being so much cheaper today with HD cameras being available to the general public and having access to the same editing software as blockbuster films (The Coen Brother's, True Grit, 2010) used Final Cut - the same editing software we will be using. Special effects can be used on editing software without having to fork out a load of explosives can be very benefitial for the modern day music video.

With Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's Scream being the most expensive music video ever at $7m in 1995 this shows that when the technology wasn't available it was expensive. Having to buy tapes for the cameras and with cameras being so much more expensive in the past it all added up. Digital technology has made it so much more affordable.

Fan made videos such as MGMT's Kids shows that with the technology available anyone can make a music video even for a well known band. It's a way that the band can help make a relationship with their fanbase.

RS - Albanian Music Videos

We have been looking at Iconic Music videos to try and find the codes and conventions of them, by looking at certain key music videos such as 3 Albanian music videos we found out. Here you can find a link to a post in which I made a quick summary of the key codes and conventions.

Here are the three Albanian Music Videos below

This music video is very key as it shows how Globalisation is used. In which local cultures are populated by very large brands

RS - The Brief

This years A2 Media Studies Brief is to:

Create a music video of our choice (around 2-4 mins would be ideal) using HD Digital Camcorders to film and Final Cut to edit. We also need to create a "Digipack" (a digipack is a card cover for a CD) and we will then advatise our music video in a Magazine.

RS - Censorship

Over the years there have been several famous music videos which have been banned for several different reasons; ranging from sexism to just too rude.

Here is a link to why certain videos were banned from MTV

The Foo Fighters - a band well known for making completley odd yet very sucessful and popular music videos had their music video "Low" banned from MTV due to many reasons such as promoting drinking to name one.

Madonna - Here music video of "Erotica" was banned due to the video being very explicitly sexually themed.

RS - Fish Eye Lens

 The Fish Eye Lens

"In photography, a fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in a broad, panoramic and hemispherical image. Originally developed for use in meteorology to study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance. They are often used by photographers shooting broad landscapes to suggest the curve of the Earth. Hemispherical photography is used for various scientific purposes to study plant canopy geometry and to calculate near-ground solar radiation."

Sourced from Wikipedia -

  The fish eye lens was famously used in music videos such as The Beastie Boys "Shake your rump"

And also Busta Rhymes "Gimme some more"

With A2 media we will be creating/editing our music videos using Final Cut. With final cut there is an effect within the programe to use the "fish eye lens" effect; therefore we won't need to go and find a Fish Eye Lens at the shop and purchase one (which can be priced at £100+ so it will save us alot of money!).

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

RS - Media Day

Next week our entire year of media students will be taking part in Media Day. On Media day we shall be recreating a classic music video; shot by shot for practice before we move into September and coursework. We will be filming the classic Britney Spears Track "Hit me baby one more time"

Last years A2 students went through the same process as us and to great sucess however we believe we can improve on their music video and perfect it! Here is the link to last years version of the classic Britney track.

When filming this music video we however will come under a few problems such as:

  • Dance Choreography - with there being a huge aspect of the video being dancing and the majority of the students filming/being filmed in the music video don't have dancing experience it will be hard.
  • Mise en scene such as Costumes; it is going to be hard to be able to get hold of similar costumes as in the music video because of there being so many extras there are loads of different costumes. 
  • The make-up will be quite hard to get the same as in the music video. 
  • The location is going to be hard to replecate due to us filming in England and the music video being filmed in America the locations are very different such as size difference and certain other aspects.
  • Some of the props will be hard to get hold of so planning before hand to get certain props is needed.
  • Actors is a large aspect because only a small number have acting abilities
  • Lip synching will be a problem because no one has done it yet, we will need to practice before we have the media day.