Friday, 30 September 2011

RS - SnorriCam

What a professional SnorriCam looks like
A SnorriCam (also chestcam, bodymount camera, bodycam or bodymount) is a camera device used in filmmaking that is rigged to the body of the actor, facing the actor directly, so when they walk, they do not appear to move, but everything around them does. A SnorriCam presents a dynamic point of view from the actor's perspective, providing an unusual sense of vertigo for the viewer.
Source: Wikipedia

From research online I have found tutorials on how to create a SnorriCam on a small (ish!) budget and replicate the results from a professional music video into my own. Personally I love the effect it has and I think it is extreamely unique and worth the effort! Next week I hope to do some futher research online and to look for places to gather all the materials to make the SnorriCam. I am then going to start constructing the product as I really want to encorporate it into my main coursework task. It will take effort and time to find materials and make it but it will be a nice little side project, will be fun and also rewarding in the final music video.

SnorriCams have been used within music videos which I have looked at such as System of a Down's Chop Suey. This is an example of it being used on a professional level however as you will see below there is another end to the spectrum with similar results if not even better! 0:57 and 1:10 are examples of the SnorriCam being used in this music video. In this music video you can even see the harness that holds the SnorriCam to the band member which is something I want to avoid! So having clothing covering it or having the camera zoomed in closer to the actor will be vital! I can learn from what they have done and make sure I don't do the same thing.

What the image looks like

They have also been used by media students from the year above in their coursework which shows that with a small budget you can build one yourself and get similar results to a professional SnorriCam which could cost hundreds of pounds. 0:52 and 1:04 are examples of the SnorriCam being used in this music video and I hope I can get similar results when I create my own. A post from one of the creators of this music video highlights him creating a SnorriCam and photographing the stages in the creation. The SnorriCam works really well with the narrative of their music video as it follows a mans addiction to drugs and with the SnorriCam it can give a really clear CU whilst slightly blurring the background when movement occurs (connoting the drug taking in the narrative)

RS - 2010-11 A2 Video Deconstruction

Year: 1997
Genre: Pop
Audience: 15-24

Yesterday we got set the task of deconstructing a music video created by last years students who left earlier this year,  we then had to use a mark scheme to grade the coursework which would ultimately help us as we would be more familiar as to what the examiners will be looking for in our product.  We each got assigned a video to deconstuct and I got Megan Claydon and Emmie Bryett's version of "As long as you love me" by the Backstreet Boys.

For this task we had to:

1: go through each of the video product criteria (either copy/paste in, or use single words such as framing, variety, steady etc) + award either an E,P,B or M (exc, prof't, basic, min)
2: note 1 specific (with time in video) detail you think justified this choice
3: come up with an overall mark out of 40
4: what possible improvements could you make (even the best had scope to be better still!)
5: what tips/pointers/insights have you picked up from assessing this vid and applying the marking criteria?
You will find it worthwhile to look through their blogs too, an exercise we'll tackle shortly

Steady Shots (where appropriate) - Excellent. Overall excellent but let down by one or two shots where the tri-pod/camera has been nudged otherwise no faults at all. 1:20 is a perfect example of a steady ELS showing the whole band playing basketball together.

Framing a shot - Excellent. 3:16 great shot of the boy band all walking up over the bridge. Some very good framed shots of looking through the fence in the tennis courts, very good use of foreground out of focus and background in focus.

Shot Variety - Excellent. A large variety of different shot distances, ranging from ELS all the way to CU's. 3:15 is a very good shots of the band lip syncing and dancing on top of the bridge along with them in the tennis courts. Along with CU's of the characters to show their emotions showing lots of variety. 

Material appropriate to task - Excellent. The use of slow motion on the CU's of the two characters perfectly shows that the material is appropriate. 1:02 is a good example of them using slow motion when they look at each other.

Mise en scene (including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting) -Proficient. Great use of the Cow and Calf rocks within the video. Some shots get let down by having the shots lighting a bit too dark however it is only a small proportion of the shots. 1:46 is a good use of the scenery within the music video.

Editing so that meaning is appropriate to the viewer - Excellent. The video is very easy to follow as it uses black and white effects to signify that that footage is from the past which makes it easy to figure out which bits are past or present. 1:31 is an example of the slow motion also with multi layering used to show the two characters at once.

Shot transitions, captions, other effects - Proficient. 2:03 is a fantastic example! Lots of multi layering usage to show the two characters, along with use of Black and white effects and also fuzzy effects over the screen later in the video.

Overall for the music video I would award 34/40 marks which would be marked as Excellent.

To improve the music video I think they should have used more special effects from within FinalCut, they do use a few multi-layered shots but ultimatley they could be used a bit more. Overall I was really impressed with the video hence why I marked it high!

Here are links to the blogs of the people who created the music video:

Here is the music video

Thursday, 22 September 2011

RS - Editing the Practice Music Video!

Today Will Spivey and myself got put into the same group for editing the practice music video which we finished filming yesterday. We will be editing the footage on FinalCut Express as practice for our coursework which we will be starting in the next week or two. Learning from our mistakes of the filming process we hope to learn from the editing process too so that we don't make the same mistakes when we start our proper coursework.

Although today we didn't have time to start editing (because the footage needed to be uploaded to 5 Macs in the room and the footage takes 20 mins to upload to one alone!) we will begin editing next week and hopefully finish by Tuesday then we can get onto the finishing touches for our coursework pitches.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

RS - Lessons learnt from the Practice Music video

For the practice Music video filming yesterday we did come up with several problems, they were that

When we began filming our very basic planning made us suffer and we were extremely unorganised. We did not have a clear leader and people did not know what they were doing most of the time and people were running around like headless chickens!. People did not bring their complete costumes (missing dresses etc or the whole costume) and we did not know what we were supposed to be filming as we did not create a proper call sheet or storyboards. Finally, no one checked if the tennis court nets were up...which they were not! We had to run around the whole school looking for a P.E teacher to get them up for us but by that time with everything else going wrong we decided to change the filming date and plan it all again.

We learnt from this problem and elected a leader to organise the whole group and tell the actors and cinematographers what they needed to be doing and when. We made a group on Facebook so that we could all contact each other at home and make sure no one forgot their costumes! (new media allowed us to do this). 

Todays filming was a great deal more successful and we filmed everything we needed to film. Learning from Tuesday's mess up we all pulled together and got the work done. Doing this practice music video was vital because if we messed up like that on the actual coursework it would be really bad and put the group behind, however with it being on the practice it didn't matter as much and we could learn from our mistakes!

Monday, 19 September 2011

RS - Practice Music Video

This week we have been planning our remake for the music video "Hello" by Martin Solveig. The class all voted for this music video to be created on Friday of last week and I have made a post about it here. So far we have just gone through what is going to be in the music video and we all decided it should be a remake of the video instead of a dance track. Everyone knows what they are doing in the music video due to the planning process and we all know what we need to bring for tomorrows filming period. We expect to finish filming all the tennis shots in first period tomorrow and then in break time we can film everyone coming into the tennis courts (because it will be break) and use that footage as people in the crowd. The filming should all be done tomorrow which leaves us the rest of the week including frees to edit and then work on our coursework pitches which will be this Friday, if not then early next week.We started planning on Monday and made a basic call sheet of what we were going to film the next day. We are planning to start filming tomorrow (Tuesday).
The roles we decided for the music video are:

Me: A Tennis Player (I will be wearing a wig and a Tutu!)
Sam Pollock: A Tennis Player
Will Spivey: A Ball Boy and Tom's love interest
Kyle Meeson: The Umpire  
Gina Maunsell: A Tennis Player
Jess Thorne: A Fan and the Director
Ben Hudson: The Cameraman and the Director
Melodie Abraham: A Fan, a Ball Girl and Choreographer
Harry Knight: A Tennis player
Ellie Fry: A Fan
Tom Wardman: A Ball Boy and the HE who is my love interest in the music video. Tom is also dressed as a girl.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

RS - Class Practice Music Video

Last week we were told to prepare a pitch to be presented to the class on Friday. For this pitch we needed to think of a music video idea and present it to the class in 90 seconds. The aim is to have everyone feature in the music video and get everyone involved and create their own edits so we get familiar with FinalCut once again after the Summer Holidays.

Once everyone in the class had done their pitch everyone voted for their favourite music video idea. Our class went with Tom Wardman's idea for the track "Hello" by Martin Solveig. I pitched A-ha's "Take on Me" but did not get a high enough vote for us to create my idea.

For my idea I thought we could get everyone to be dancing with each other and lip syncing to the camera. There wasn't really a story behind it as it was just a performance based music video but it was not chosen.

Here is the whole list of the music videos our class pitched:

13A saw the following pitched:

Tomorrow we start filming the music video for "Hello" in which we will be filming a tennis match similar to that of the original music video along with crowd members and a few of us dressed in wigs! We hope to film it all tomorrow and then to edit it by the end of the week and to hopefully pitch our main coursework ideas next week and possibly form into groups for the coursework.

Tom Wardman's choice (winner) Martin Solveig's "Hello" -

Here is my choice with A-ha's "Take on me" -

RS - Practice Music Video Pitch

For this task we had a short period to plan an idea for a music video. We could choose any music video from any genre and we then had to pitch our short idea to the class and had a class vote to decide on which pitch/idea was the most reasonable to film + would be the most beneficial for us to practice. I chose A-ha's "Take on Me" which I had recently deconstructed and so I thought I had a reasonable understanding of it. My basic idea was just a performance based music video which contained the whole class featuring in it either by lip syncing some of the lyrics or by dancing to the tune.

RS - Vodcast - Muse + Tyler The Creator

This week we got set the task of being put into pairs and looking at two different music videos from two different genres and discussing the different techniques and key codes and conventions that are used in each video. With them being different genres there was lots of differences but still they had similarities.

Tom Wardman and myself worked together for this task and Tom chose Tyler the Creator - Yonkers. I chose Muse - Knights of Cydonia. We had to choose a music video we had already deconstructed so we knew what the video was about and the key aspects, we just had to inform and show the other group member.

Here is my deconstuction of Muse - Knights of Cydonia
And here is Tom's deconstruction of Tyler the Creator - Yonkers