Tuesday, 20 December 2011

RS - Muse's Profile in 2011

2011 was a quiet year for Muse as Band. They had finished touring for "The Resistance" and only had 17 live appearances throughout the year. The reason for this was because they were intending to start recording for most of the year and run the recording into 2012 hoping to finish some time at the start of the year. 

They had intended to have a break for most of the year due to touring/recording pretty much non stop since they first started touring in 1999 and wanted to have a more laid back lifestyle they had desired for so long. The fact that they built their own recording studio for The Resistance and were due to record there again with the following album meant that they could have a more laid back style to it and not have to rush it if they were hiring out a studio like the previous albums

NME Awards 2011
The start of the year consisted of a short South American Tour and a few dates in Europe. The awards season began at the start of the year and Muse walked away with a Grammy, an NME Award and an Ivor Novello Award. (See full list of awards here)

Reading Festival 2011

The summer brought the Summer Festivals and the main appearences for Muse throughout the year with 6/17 appearences in August. They started off touring the Festivals in the US and then finishing off the summer and the whole year by headlining Reading & Leeds for the second time and being voted the best performance of the two festivals.

In the Recording Studio

The end of a fairly quiet year saw Muse returning to the studio later than expected in the year and announce that the new album wont land until some time in October 2012 a bit later than expected. Not much information about the album has been released as of yet.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

ALL - Storyboards

Here are our storyboards that i have scanned in today that confirm our full idea. We still have the flexibility to change around with some ideas but this is the general order of shots and narrative/performance footage. We have filmed a couple of scenes including the ones in the 'Muse Nerds' living room and bedroom and also played around with some shots at the River Wharfe and the skate park. Performance and school footage are in the pipeline for over the Chrismas period and early in January when we return to school. Our Animatic will be completed soon as we have nearly finished editing it on the MAC using iMovie so that will be up soon.

WS - Casting, Characters, Costumes and Props

From the outset and our original idea we have had an idea in mind that we would need one male, teenage protagonist that would feature throughout the video. This is still the case and has been throughout every sample footage we have filmed. We have also had other potential characters that have featured in sample footage, though these were not included in the final product due to changes in our idea. We also needed a band to cast for the performance side of the video.

Casting for our protagonist was actually relatively simple. Rob Shaw, a member of Swillob was willing to play this role of the protagonist and is the owner of quite a lot of Muse products, such as magazines, music and most importantly, clothing. It is of quite vital importance to our video that the protagonist wears the hoodie with 'Muse' on as well as the suit fitting when the protagonist gets dressed in the likeness of the band. As well as this we knew we would have to film on a number of occasions and this has turned out to be around ten times over the process. For this reason we needed somebody who would be available whenever needed and Rob was confident he could accurately portray the character. Obviously he is not a professional actor, but without a budget we were always going to have to find someone who wasn't professional and in the sample footage we filmed originally we felt that Rob portrayed the character well.

As well as casting for our protagonist we needed a band to perform in our performance aspect to the video. This has proved to be extremely tricky throughout filming. There are a few people who play in bands who we know. The tricky thing has been finding an appropriate time for them and for us to film. The current performance footage that we are using is by the band Ice Cream For Activists.

As touched on in the 'Casting' section of this post, we have always had the idea of a protagonist who is obsessed with Muse. This has been the center for all of our ideas so far with minor details changing and ideas changing about any other characters that we intended to include, until we reached a decision to get rid of any other central characters to signify isolation and loneliness for the 'muse nerd'. Sample footage, for example 'Sample Footage 1', shows that we tested out including other characters who bully the muse nerd about his loneliness and degrade him. However feedback suggested that this didn't work effectively and that we would be better using the idea of isolation rather than bullying. For these reasons we decided that a better option would be to exclude these additional characters. 
As well as a protagonist we obviously needed people in the background in certain shots, for example the time lapse scene in school would really have lacked verisimilitude if there was nobody else about. For this we simply needed people to be acting as they would normally be and so no casting was required, although we did need to ensure that nobody who didn't want to be was caught on camera.

The costume aspect has been referred to in the casting section of this post, although it wasn't discussed. 

It was key to our idea that the protagonist can display constant reminders of their affiliation to Muse. This is simple when they are at home for example as you can see posters and magazines around the characters bedroom that show this obsession. When out of the house and in different locations, which is also important for our idea and genre, we needed a link to this obsession. One simple and obvious link is the hoodie that we used. This keeps the link present throughout all locations in the video, but in a realistic way that doesn't look forced onto the screen/frame.

Another important aspect to costume in the video comes when the main character is getting dressed in the image of the muse band while stood in front of a poster. This idea came about as a result of us looking for more links and ways to portray the obsession and we got this idea during a feedback session. Whilst we have received further feedback when we screened the footage people thought it was a good idea but needed to be edited better (ie. faster paced).

There were a number of props that we required for our music video ranging from magazines and digipaks to park swings and an iPod. A large part of our idea was to zoom into magazine covers/digipaks and then cut to a similar setting. This was the main use for these objects in our video, however there were other reasons for including them in different parts of our video. Even though some sort of sic-fi aspect (and therefore not real life/realistic) would appeal to our target audience, we wanted to keep the parts of the narrative with the protagonist realistic. To do this we needed to create a setting that would look appropriate for a person who is obsessed with a band and music. Magazines and CD/Digipak covers were a good way to do this, therefore creating verisimilitude.

Origin of Symmetry cover
Another prop that has had significance in our idea and planning from almost the start has been the iPod. This can be seen in the scenes on the bus. Another potential idea that we are still thinking about is using the iPod as a diegetic opening, though this is not certain yet. As touched upon in the costume section, we needed constant links to the music obsession and so when the character is out the house, this is a realistic way to show this. It also signifies that he is shutting himself off from the outside world and not socialising with other people.

Props that we used around in the outdoor settings were in some cases spur of the moment things and in others planned. For example when filming scenes on the moor side we saw the telephone poles and the wires stretching across a field. This reminded us of the front cover for Origin of Symmetry so we decided to film some shots of this. Examples of planned shoots and props are the scenes in the park with the swing and down by the river when the protagonist is throwing stones.

Whether we planned certain shots or not the props and miss-en-scene is of vital importance to each setting we have used and has been thought out carefully. The same can be said for the framing of shots, which extends to props and the miss-en-scene as they are all linked closely.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

ALL - Lyrics sheet with Deconstruction

Here is our lyrics sheet which we printed off in our media lesson today. We grouped together and went through the lyrics timings and our storyboards and went through an initial plan of whats going to be on screen at the certain timings within the song.

Lyrics Sheet With Deconstruction

Saturday, 3 December 2011

RS - Feedback on our Second Sample Footage

Once we had finished editing our second sample footage for our music video we gave the exported file to our Media Teacher so he could upload it to Youtube. Once it had been uploaded we gathered all the students within the class together around the middle and screened our second sample footage to them. Once the screening had finished we had time to ask them any questions or for them to ask us any questions and this is what we recieved.
  • Try not to show the face of the protagonist straight away (to keep narrative enigma)
  • Create a CD/DVD print to put onto a blank CD with the name of our track + band on it to show to the audience.
  • Try to time to poster "montage" shots with the music
  • Instead of having copyrighted material being played on the TV have our performance footage played on it instead.
  • Have CU's on the phone so it's easier to read and either speed up the footage or shorten the sequence down a couple of menus to save time
  • Having the "Sony" branding in the frame could be seen as a viral advert
  • Have the protagnoist using the QR code app on his phone whilst looking at our Digipak we will be making to help promote it.
  • Have our magazine advert on one of the pages when the protagonist is reading it
  • Make the collage of magazines more subtle not just in a big group on the floor
  • Use multi-layering within the video so we can fit more footage into the sequence
  • Have photos of the protagonist alone in various locations so it isolates him from everyone even more
  • Redo some of the shots with the low-lighting and test on the day to see if lighting is suitable if not then use external light source
  • First see the persons face when he puts the magazine down
  • Try out with having shots without showing his face at all perhaphs for the entire music video and then get feedback from it all to see if it works!
  • Have the protag looking through his wardrobe however the clothes are very unusual and makes him seem more of an outsider to the rest
  • Look at Napoleon Dynamite for influence

We also recieved feedback from a past A2 student, Chris Lawrence!

 Here is our second sample footage!

Friday, 2 December 2011

SP - Feedback on our First Sample Footage

Today we finished editing our first peice of sample footage that we filmed at the weekend. We exported it and gave it to our Media Teacher so he could screen it in front of the class. Once they had watched our footage we listened to any feedback our class mates had to give. Our Media Teacher also gave his thoughts on our progress and this is what they all had to say: 

  1. The major point that came up frequently was regarding our acting. In our first sample footage our class mate thought that our idea meant that it might be quite difficult to act in. This was highlighted in our footage because people thought that it made our music video look unproffesional. This was not our intention so we had to change our idea slightly which meant there was less acting involved. 
  2. What people suggested was that instead of having a particular social group we should have individual people picking on this 'Muse nerd' at different locations. Another thing that we are considering is instead of this particular person being bullied like he was in our first sample footage, he should be isolated from everyone else. He is going to be left out from what everyone else is doing just because he likes Muse so much. 
  3. Another location we will be able to use with this changed idea is this 'Muse nerd' is that persons house. We will be able to shoot in the teenagers bedroom and in the living room of the house. We will be able to show how he is becoming isolated from his own family as well as people at school and around town. We will also be able to show this 'Muse nerds' obsession with the band by having shots of posters, magazines, CD's / DVD's, clothing and on a computer with iTunes etc. There is alot more scope with this new idea to really exaggerate how much this teenage adores Muse. 
  4. However the good thing about this changed idea is that we can still use all of the locations we were going to with the original idea. We can still film at school as there are a few places we intend to use including in the 6th Form Centre, in an empty coridoor, by the 'Muse nerds' locker and on a lonely table. We can also film in Ilkley town centre by the river and skate park as we have just done in our first sample footage but just slightly change what are going to happen in these locations. 

Once we have a firm idea of what we want to film we will shoot some more sample footage and repeat the feedback process. We will edit, export and upload to YouTube and again use the class to give us some more suggestions on our changes.