Friday, 15 September 2017

R+P Post 2: Myself as a music consumer

I love listening to music, it has always been a big part of my life. When I was younger I would often hear music played in my house by family members. We love to listen to music together and dance, these memories are one of the reasons why listening to music always puts me in such a great mood.

I listen to music on a daily basis, when traveling to and from school also in my free time.

Childhood:

Foolish by Ashanti is one of my favourite songs from my childhood as it is one I remember being played by my parents. I was about 4 or 5 at the time so I wasn't able to completely understand what the song was about but I knew that I loved the rhythm, the beat and the vocals. I really liked the fact that the song sampled the beat of The Notorious BIG's One More Chance/ Stay With Me. The song was also very memorable as the video is a parody of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.

These references to other media products have a positive effect on the audience as it draws on other successful products to make for good entertainment and touch on our emotions through devices such as nostalgia.


Early Teens:

Throughout my early teens my music tastes seemed to diversify as I started actively looking for songs to listen to. No One by Alicia Keys was one of the first songs that I truly listened to the lyrics, the empowering lyrics really resonated with me as I could relate to them whilst still being entertained by the amazing vocal ability of Alicia Keys. This song was also very memorable to me as it was one of the songs that I could never escape, I remember being on holiday and still hearing the song play on the radio.

This is relevant to our project as we will need to pick a good song that our target audience will be able to relate to whilst still being able to escape from their everyday problems and routines.


Now:

Currently I still listen to a fairly wide variety of genres depending on the mood I am in or the mood I want to be in. Unlike when I was very young, at my age now I want to not only listen to music that has a good beat but also meaningful lyrics that I can resonate with. No Role Modelz by J. Cole is a song that fits this criteria. In the song, despite being a rap artist, J. Cole denounces the lifestyle commonly associated with rap artists and in the meta lyrics Cole describes his struggle to conforming with the aforementioned lifestyle. Cole's delivery allows the audience to escape from their normal life and walk in his shoes and understand where he is coming from whilst still entertaining the audience.

As mentioned before, lyrics are a key area that we need to consider when choosing our sound to make sure our audience are not only entertained but are also able to find themselves reflected into the music.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

R + P Post 1: My A2 Group

For this project I will be working with Aisha Farah and Ray Baker. I think we will work really well together and our different skills and experience within media will complement each other nicely.

As a group we have decided to have a minimum of two meetings a week and have created a whatsapp group chat to ensure we can easily contact each other and share our ideas outside of school.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Evaluation Q1 - Did you enjoy the main workshop shoot day? What role(s) did you take? What were your best bits and why?

I had a great time during the workshop as it allowed me to develop new skills such as performing and improve my preexisting skills such as learning new camera skills like depth of field and learning about cable bashing which makes filming handheld shots easier. I was able to learn new skills and enhance my preexisting skills by working with industry professionals.

During the day I took on the role of cool kid 5. This involved some dancing, running about and acting moody to the character.
Here I am performing one of the 'moody' shots
When I wasn't in front of the camera I was:
  • On the clapper board
    • This was very important as it marks in the shots and take, this process is important as it makes the process of editing much easier as it is a quick signifier of the shot.
Here I am on the clapper board
  • Cable Bashing
    • Cable bashing is important as it is a way to ensure the camera operator doesn't trip on the wires of the camera when it is handheld.
  • Supporting the actors performing
    • This was very important as it meant energy was always high and no one felt really embarrassed when they were performing in front of the camera by themselves.

video
A time lapse showing how the scale and detail of the shoot.

My favorite part of the day was the big group shots as I felt this was when I felt energy was at its highest for everyone, also these were some of the only shots that everyone was on camera so it meant that we could have a good group experience in general. Here are some examples of the shots:



Thursday, 22 June 2017

Evaluation Q2 - What have you learnt from participating in each of the prelim tasks 1, 2, 3 and 5?

Task 1 - Complete an Audition Video

My audition video

The first task that we had to complete was to create an audition video to help cast the various roles in the music video. It was also a good chance to have a small experience of what the performance and lip-syncing would be like.

Positives I was able to take from the audition video:
  • Learning how to lip-sync properly to look like we are the original singers of the song.
  • How to properly edit video to match with a vocal track and look natural.
  • The need to look confident and avoid looking nervous as it brings the whole quality of the performance down
  • The importance of learning song lyrics

Task 2 - Learn and practice your performance

We spent 2 weeks, during and after school, practising our performances with Jasmine, the performance director. In these sessions we practised how to exaggerate our emotions to make our performances look better. Here are some of my performance pictures:




Task 3 - Help to plan and organise your costume

In our class we had a meeting to discuss costumes and props that needed to be organised ahead of the shoot day. My costume was: a white vest, jeans and a pair of brown trainers.

This is the costume that we decided on
Everyone was encouraged to 'beg, borrow and steal' ☺, this meant that everyone had very accurate costumes. For example Emilio brought a vest in for me to wear and I also brought in a vest, this meant we had options, we chose mine as we thought it looked closer to the vest worn in the video

I have learned how to organise costumes and props for production and I feel this will be very useful in the future. We also learned how to create a character and identity which will be very useful for A2 as we are making a new persona.

Task 5 - Complete the Remake Edit


I made my remake edit with Emilio. I really enjoyed this as although the process was long as we had to be very thorough and make sure we matched our remake video to as much of the original video as possible.

I have learned the various types of shots that are consistent in music videos such as:

Beauty Shots

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Evaluation Q3 - Are you pleased with the footage and your finished edit? Is it how you expected it to look? What works well and what would you change?


Overall, I am extremely please with my final and the quality of footage that we were able to get in just one day. All of the feedback that I have got has been positive and many people have said that they think "It looks so professional" and "How did you manage to do that in school".

I think that our video was very successful and professional due to how close we were able make our video match the original video. The areas that I am particularly please with the outcome are:


  • The accurate lip syncing
  • The performance of everyone who took part
  • The precise and quick cuts between shots
  • The grading in  the video as there are parts of the video that the colour of the overall shot vary greatly. Such as:

(Left) Ungraded video // (Right) Graded video

We graded the footage above with the aim of matching the dark background in the original. At first this was difficult as the background was white and matched the floor but we managed to get around this and get a similar look.


We used the ProcAmp tool to grade some of the video.

We used the Gaussian Blur to create a smoother transition from the dark background and the light floor colour. We did this as we felt the blur transition would make it appear as if it was the lighting at the time.

Even though our video was good and especially our grading. One thing I would take from this video is that it is important to match the lighting as close to the original video as possible when filming as it allows for an even closer match to the original video without looking out of place.

Such as this shot of Jack, where the background changes colour:

                    

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Evaluation Q4 - How do you think your prelim experiences will impact on your approach to next term's music video coursework?

Next term we must use our skills from this pelim task to make our own original music video for an existing song. I am really looking forward to this project as I am interested into seeing the various stages that are involved in creating an original video, I also look forward to seeing how the skills from this prelim project carry over and help us make a better video.

I have learned many transferable skills that I will take to next year such as:

Pre-Production
  • How to create a persona and use costume, props, lighting, composition and framing to convey these further. This will help me with A2 as I will be creating a musician from scratch so it will be very useful to think about how to use all these elements to create a more realistic and appealing character. The costume & props meetings showed me how to successfully plan the look of the video which is a major part of the video.
Production
  • How to work with actors and encourage them to give their best performance
  • The basics of music video makeup such as anti-shine
  • The basics of camera work and supporting the camera such as cable bashing
  • I have also learned the importance of choreography as it is important for videos to have actions that match the video. 
    • When Sian says "ever bring them down", she matches it with a hand-movement. This is due to Jasmine's choreography.
                       

Post-Production

  • How to edit a music video and make sure the lip-syncing matches up with audio track
  • I have learned the style that music videos tend to be edited in, the pace of the cutting usually match the tone of the song.
  • The music videos also tell a story and follow a narrative flow rather than just being a series of shots that match the music. It is more like a short film that tells a story.
  • Visual effects such as flashes are used to make the video look more interesting and as a variation to a normal cut. Such as:
                       


Our group photo