Basically, My group and I were set the task of producing a music video a band or artist of our choice. The video in question had to stick to the codes and conventions which best suited the genre of music, in order to identify our target audience. By doing this, we had to create a brand identity for our “band” in order not to alienate our newly acquired target audience. The age of this targeted audience would be about 16/25, so image would be fairly important. This meant we had to have a collaborative style which would suit the misc-en-scene ; clothing etc.
We were also presented with the task of providing print based work which would accompany our video. This consisted of Album artwork; Front, back and inside covers, and a magazine article.
All of the above tasks were completed equally by members of our group, with each person specialising in a certain aspect; I helped with the editing of the footage, making sure the music was in sync etc. This, as well other tasks, such as creating the ancillaries on Photoshop. We really felt that, by involving everyone in the production through to editing, it would help shape our project, as everyone gets their own individual input. There were no set roles, just if you had an idea, you pitched in and were allowed to creatively aid the project.
(In my PowerPoint, I have featured some embedded YouTube clips, which may not work. I have enclosed the url for each of the videos, just in case.)
This is the permission letter received from the Black Kid’s management/record label, allowing us to use their song for our media project.
Research and planning We initially came up with the idea of making the video seem fairly comical. I believe that we did this through various different methods. Firstly, the use of the “Guitar Hero” peripherals (Drums, guitar and Decks) all aid the overall comedy feel. The audience would appreciate this and possibly find this comical, as it’s a something out of the ordinary. We gained inspiration from this video by Smosh.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_6ItxioUco
The problem was though, how could we portray this sense of fun and humour to our target audience? Originally we had discussed whether or not to actually try to intentionally do “silly things”, such as falling over etc. Yet, this idea had a few flaws, the main point being that the video would look fake and stale, which the audience would have intentionally picked up on.
We decided that the best method was just to film us being ourselves, without this sense of intention. This proved to be very effective in connecting with our audience, as they could imagine themselves in the performers shoes. This also creates connotations of the band being regular people, someone who our audience could connect with.
In our project, we decided upon featuring James skateboarding. This was to help demonstrate the above point. Yet, It also helped us to carve a small niche market, also, as well as our main target audience, who effectively were the general public and those who listen to “indie”.
This sub-target audience of ours would be in the same age range as our first audience, yet their musical tastes would differ slightly. These people would be more inclined to listen to “pop-punk”. Pop punk is effectively punk rock, yet sung with similar vocal styles to every day chart music, filled with harmonies etc, not much unlike our song.
Choosing our location was another problem. Our original intention was for the video to be shot in the “juice bar” in Clitheroe. Yet, as apparent in some of our shots, the month of snow and ice changed this. We then noticed that Clitheroe itself is a fairly perfect to film. The town itself is fairly unique, a mixture of new and old buildings coincide with each other to create something different. In the performance shots, we are actually stood outside of a row of hairdressers and shops, which is fairly unusual.
Which is the most obvious difference about Clitheroe is that at the centre still stands a castle. This is where we did most of our filming, on the grounds of the castle.
Below are picture of the locations used, using Google maps.
Where the band performance was filmed. This was the location for one of the establishing shots of the band Used for another band shot, and some of Hassan’s close ups during the beginning. At the time was covered in snow.
Seeing though that each of the members in our group all have fairly varied musical tastes from one another, it was vital that we found a song/band, that we all enjoyed, in order to work effectively on our project. Hence, after various attempts at connecting various bands, we heard from the Black Kids, and chose them for our media project. The Song in question – Love me already – Is a rock/indie song.
By choosing this genre of music in which to film, there were two routes in which we could take, in order to get our final product; Either having a narrative based video, or try to be experimental, and do something different. We decided to go for a spontaneous feel to the video, to capture the feel of the song, which personally I believe is extremely upbeat. Thus, We decided upon filming each of us “messing around” with friends, something our target audience could relate to.
here is the song in full – taken from YouTube. (not the official video ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9V3oITDq0U
Typically, this genre of music has quite a varied dress code. Firstly, we thought that by dressing the different band members individually, would help give them a certain identity. Dressing each member in identical clothing was deemed a bit too gimmicky for our liking. The below shot is an example of this. Also note each of the members posture. This shot of the band allows our audience to interpret our different “personas”. For example, most bands do have someone you would deem to be a “character”.
Ben; Dressed in, my opinion, a fairly typical “indie” fashion – the coat, is slightly reminiscent of a parker. The hat, mainly because it was cold, was also a fashionable item around Winter. His posture is standing proud, something the audience could interpret as his love for the band. Though, he was mixing samples, Ben gives off the impression that he doesn’t want to take a back seat, creating his own persona. Though, Hassan was our front man, he had decided to place him centre back, to reflect his character. Positioned with his hand in the pockets of his joggers, portrays him as quite laid back, something which helps, in my opinion, his role in the band. He is dressed in quite bland colours, which seem to be a juxtaposition of his role as front man, which is fairly energetic. James’ posture is something to note. Hiding his face would show the audience that he is a “practical joker”, especially with his positioning in this shot. Dressed in fairly bright colours also reflects this. His particular clothing style, to me, would attract the younger members of our target audience, as he is dressed quite “funky”. In hindsight, I didn’t intentionally mean to avoid looking at the camera, yet I think this creates a slightly mysterious/cool feel to my persona. I was dressed in a jumper and skinny jeans, which are part of the whole “indie dress code”.
There are various different aspects of our video, which help to create this idea of comedy. Though we have our main shots, primarily band shots, Hassan’s performance and some location shots which follow the conventions of a music video, we decided to interject these shots with something unusual. Take for example the following screen shots taken from the video. These are some examples of the above point. We decided upon place this shot in to portray that the band are “up for a laugh”. This sense of being childish and enjoying yourself, in my opinion, would relate with the audience, especially if they have gone sledging. Note that James is again skateboarding, yet on a half a sledge. To me, this is one of the more humorous scenes of our project. I say this as we originally intended to use this as a serious shot, but Ben completely messed up the timing of everything, resulting in him blocking what James was doing in the background. Which hopefully the audience would pick up on. It was also with a sense of irony we decided upon this shot, seeing though it says “Hollywood Production” in the top left of the board. The audience could interpret this in their own way, but to me, it’s making fun of the quality of our video.
Though, this shot was a result of a slip up on my part, yet in the final project worked quite well. The shot before is of Hassan performing. Followed by this shot which looks like I’m laughing at Hassan’s performance. Notice the inclusion of the Guitar hero drum kit. I believe this shot to work quite well seeing though, I’m “performing” on a set of stairs outside. The aptly nick-named “headless dance scene”. Originally, this was Ben walking back up the icy path, to turn the camera off. Yet with the music behind it, it makes him look like he’s performing a “jig”. To our audience, his rigid almost robot-like movements along with the music would seem fairly comical.
After the clothing and music, In order to be striking to your target audience, you must firstly create yourself a brand image, something which will be associated almost permanently with your band. This comes, firstly, in the form of your logo.
The logo will be on everything print based that your label would release, posters, magazine articles etc, so it is crucial to have something aesthetically and visually pleasing for the target audience.
This logo must also fit into the codes and conventions of your genre - you couldn’t have a logo with inverted crucifix’s for a pop/rock band.
The green and purple, was chosen due to the vibrancy of the colour. Used as a technique to catch the consumers eye. A fairly individual logo, nice contrast with the green and purple. We essentially chose this as the font as we believed that it was visually pleasing and something different . This logo on a glance, to me, has connotations of “royalty”. This could be interpreted by the audience that the band may be good. (if a band/artist is good at what they do, they are usually referred to as the “kings or queens”.
As well as creating a video project, we were also required to create ancillary’s projects to accompany the video. This took the form of CD covers. Below are our completed covers. Carrying on with the colour scheme of the logo was, to us, quite important, as it continued the brand which he intended to create. The front cover itself is quite sporadic in it’s design. We intentionally created a juxtaposition of “organised chaos” for our cover. I mean this as though it looks like scribbles, if you look into the picture properly, you can see the sense of symmetry and pattern. Front Cover; The graffiti style of the font gives of the connotations of the bands youthfulness and energy. Though cluttered, I believe that it is visually appealing to our target audience. The logo was placed behind the font to draw the readers eye. It is also at a different angle to the actual writing, again, a statement of the bands individuality.
Back Cover; We actually decided upon using the Black Kid’s real record label on our back cover. This helped to create some authenticity to our project. Again, following a similar design as the front cover. Yet we striped the use of the green font as it would be visually overpowering for the consumer Seeing though that this is a CD cover, the inclusion of a bar code was imperative. Each of the band members are featured on the back page, yet in a “sketchy” image. This to me looks visually pleasing, and fits in with the style of the cover. The song titles are taken from the band’s actual album “Partie Traumatic” The inclusion of the recording/label information was also added to add authenticity
Inside cover; Behind cd; These images are meant to be displayed like this when the cd cover is open. Notice the repetition of the image. It is intended to symbolise that our band are here, and the “new kids on the block” The logo is prominent to reinforce this idea of our brand image. Instead of having a conventional band photo. We decided to do it a bit differently, hence the above image. Having this sketchy image gives the picture a bit of character as well as fitting in with the colour scheme. The text here is again to emphasise who the band are. It is placed directly across from the band photo for the same effect.
We were also tasked with creating a magazine article; As in our Cd covers, we have followed certain codes and conventions which we created for our brand. Evident here, is the use of the green and purple colour’s recognisable with our album cover. We have also reused the same image to create a sense of mystery. This will hopefully pose the question to the audience; “who are they?” Debut being a different colour attracts the audience’s eye. The emphasis on this almost slogan like sentence is hype. Placed in the sentence quite cleverly are the words “new, and scene”. This would instantly draw the readers eye due to the nature of these “buzzwords”. “Kids” reflects upon the youth of our band, something the younger audience would pick up on. By mentioning the single, we could attract the audience who have heard that song alone. Say for example those who have heard the song on the radio.
Something also to comment upon would be the use of the British flag in our video. This is something which also helps with the branding aspect. It gives the target audience an idea of who we are. Yet also, portrays our pride for our country, something not usually shown in music videos. This could alienate some viewers, yet I believe it could strengthen our potential fan base, due to the fact our nationality is adding to our brand identity. This image was edited to bright out the vibrancy of the flag. Due to the weather conditions, the flag was almost a musty grey. This is done to aid the above point.
Audience Feedback See further down the blog for this video. Luckily, the overall impression given from the group questioned were all positive. This shows myself and the group that our video and ancillary products firstly followed the codes and conventions of the music video, but also, those which we had set ourselves ( in respect to the comic aspect). It also gave us the impression of how effective the video could be if realised to the general public. The idea of the audience feedback though was to basically inform us whether or not we had completed our project effectively. Watching back the footage, I get the impression that we did well.
With the video, we also issued a questionnaire as a quick summary of what each individual thought of our video. This slide and the next feature two of those questionnaires, chosen at random.
Looking at the feedback which my group has received, the data collected in the audience feedback and the filmed discussion of the class, I believe that our group has quite effectively completed the targets which we had set each other.
For example, during the research and planning stages of our project, when had intentionally decided to stay within the codes and conventions of our respective genre, eg mise en scene. I believe that because no one from the audience feedback mentioned this, that we had achieved our goal in that respect. For example, if we were wearing clothes completely unsuited to the song/video, then our audience would have taken a more negative stance toward our video.
Also, we had set out initially to give our video a “comedic” feel, which I believe was achieved effectively, this thought correlates through our audience feedback sheets and also in the video.
Though, I believed there was plenty of room for improvement with the editing of the footage, our audience didn’t have any complaints.
Final Cut was a quite interesting editing software, it allowed us to do quite a lot with our work, but was also incredibly easy to use, once the main shortcuts were learnt. For example the cut tool – “b” button- allowed me to cut the timeline into sections so I could easily edit them. Stupidly, the two windows you see were filmed at two different times. Hence it was quite difficult to edit. Yet, it seems to have fit in perfectly. In order to create this, I had to place the second bit of footage, in this case the small window, on a separate timeline, just underneath the original. Then, by selecting the options in the viewer – top right of final cut, I could tamper with the size and position of this footage. I used this technique twice in the footage, just to create something different.
In conclusion to everything, I believe that, opposite to our groups beliefs, we successfully managed to complete our a2 media coursework.
There are a few points myself which I was unhappy with, such as the editing. Though the audience all said that they liked the editing, I myself think otherwise. This may be because I did quite a large amount of editing and I can easily spot my own mistakes in certain scenes.
This is mainly due to the fact that I learnt how to use final cut pro, just after filming and had to build my knowledge of the software programme whilst editing. Luckily, it was fairly simple to get the hang of, plus I had the assistance of group members. What I’m quite proud of though, is the timing of the song with the actual video. I am quite pleased that I managed to get the whole song in time with the respective clips, though it took some time.
Though at the start of the year, we barely knew each other, except for myself and James, I believe that this experience was beneficial as we were able to all put in our own inspirations and thoughts into this project. I believe that we completed the tasks set for us to a quite good standard, and personally, I’m incredibly pleased with the outcome. Michael.