Evaluation Question Four

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Evaluation Question Four

  1. 1. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Sam Hopkins - 13B6 Freddy and the Letdowns ‘Ike & Tina’
  2. 2. Research and Planning StagesFrom the very beginning of the project, YouTube was an indispensableresource. We used it to research potential song choices, as well as forlooking at conventions of music videos and for researching similar texts.Also, the ability to embed videos provided useful when creating blog postson Blogger.Other, document-based online uploading services were also useful duringthe research stages, such as Slideshare and Scribd, particularly for viewingpresentations teaching the music video theory.
  3. 3. Research and Planning StagesAnother useful technology in the planning process was Google’s Streetviewtool on its map service. We were able to use it in class to scout andresearch potential locations (and possible problems) without the timeconsuming process of travelling out there only to decide it is unsuitable.Social networking websites like Facebook were also useful in the researchstage, as it allowed us to explore the closer interaction with artists it offers,as well as giving us the opportunity to ask the artist directly for permissionto use the song.
  4. 4. Shooting - CameraFor the majority of filming, we used a Sony HVR-HD1000E camcorder. This wasthe exact same model we used for our previous work last year. We were veryhappy with the high quality of shots as well as the auto and manual focusingfunctions, and it meant not having to familiarise ourselves with new equipment.However, due to the different construction of shots for music video, we foundourselves using the camera in a completely new way. Whereas during filmingour film opening sequence for AS coursework we used largely static shots - usinga tripod to maintain stability as well as to manipulate camera height/movementeg panning - the conventions of music video meant we were forced to be moredynamic and energetic with our camerawork.That is not to say that every shot is unrestrained and wild. Indeed,we shot different scenes in different ways: whereas activity andmovement was more suitable for the party, for the narrativescenes and for some steadier shots it was more appropriate to use a tripod.
  5. 5. Shooting – Camera (continued)During the filming process, we also experimented with a smaller sized, videocamera (Sony Handycam), fitted to a monopod, for some of the tracking shots inone street performance scene.Although the monopod should have given us less camera movement andtherefore smoother tracking shots than using the large camera handheld, I feltthe former actually lacked the weighted feel and therefore shot steadiness incomparison oddly not preferring the equally high quality, more portableminiaturised camera.. Ideally, we would have been able to use a dolly to ensurea reliable, consistent smoothness, as many of the takes had to be broken up intoshorter shots due to odd wobbles resulting from a walking cameraman.However, we did not have access to such equipment, especially due to thefrequency of our shoots and the transport issues for equipment to and from thedifferent locations.Finally, the last equipment we utilised in the shooting process was a Sony stillscamera, to document the behind-the-scenes of the shoot, as well as creating alibrary of on-location pictures of setting and the artist. Due to the convergenceof technology, we were also able to use an iPhone to record some quick testvideos and fake interviews with the artist, and upload directly to Blogger.
  6. 6. LightingDuring the making of this video, we also experimented a lot with differentlighting for the first time. The most obvious evidence of this is in the club scene,where we had access to the house lights system in the school drama studio.This meant that over the large reel of footage we shot, we had various lightcolour schemes to choose from. (eg red/blue/green/white strobing). Mostimportantly, it meant we were able to create a realistic looking setting thatthe audience could believe.The other key area we manipulated the lighting was in the sex scene, withthe deep blue lights reminiscent of the club whilst creating a softer, moresensual texture to the scene. We also used torchlight reflected upwards offtinfoil to compliment skin tones through warm yellow light while not beingoverpowering in the shot.However, we chose not to experiment with post-production effects (egexposure/contrast/saturation) for fear it may ruin the independent feel of thevideo by giving it higher production values and a glossier, more coherentfeel. In many ways I think that the amateurishness of the project is appealing,particularly when considering the context of the genre as well as the song’splace as a debut single in our artist’s release history.
  7. 7. Organisation of ShootingDigital technology has not only impacted on the production and planningprocess, but also helped to nurture group organisation. Services likeBlackBerryMessenger and Facebook Chat meant that we didn’t have toorganise and decide a shooting/editing schedule weeks in advance at groupmeetings. Instead, we were able to organise shoots at a days notice throughdigital social communication.However, I think this may have had an overall negative impact on ourshooting process, as a I think adherence to a predetermined, structuredshooting schedule could have resulted in less delays. On the other hand, itsped up the editing process because it meant we could let each other knowinstantly if we were spending free time (eg lunch breaks, study periods, ortime after school) in the editing suite through a quick message or text.Also, as we didn’t work to tightly to a shooting script or shotlist, and had todevelop beyond our storyboard’s loose narrative dictations while filming, itgave our shooting spontaneity, and gave us more options in the editing stagedue to a wealth of footage and ideas shot. However, with hindsight I think weshould have been better prepared, as it would have resulted in less timebeing wasted and perhaps a more rigidly defined music video at the end.
  8. 8. EditingThe main way our work this year has developed from last year is through ouruse of the Final Cut Express editing software. A large step up from theincredibly user-friendly iMovie software from last year, it was difficult tomanage at first, but once I had learnt the basics, soon into the editing process Iwas able to work at a familiar pace. Also, the increased functionality becamenot just apparent, but useful too. Not only were we able to manipulate theframing of one shot to cut off the edges and bring the shot closer to the star, butalso in one shot able to cut out an actor entirely by overlaying half of the framewith a shot of the blank background an, and other time overlay two shots tocreate the illusion of all the characters being in the same frame (see picture).This year, I also used several new (to me at least) services such as the previouslymentioned Slideshare, Scribd and Prezi to access or upload documents onto thisblog. I also used image editing software Photoshop for the first time, as well asonline image editing service Picnik- although the former was more difficult to getaccustomed to, it offered much more photo manipulation than the latter (seeupcoming slide about our ancillary task). These services all enabled me to createa more multimedia blog.
  9. 9. EditingThe main way our work this year has developed from last year is through ouruse of the Final Cut Express editing software. A large step up from theincredibly user-friendly iMovie software from last year, it was difficult tomanage at first, but once I had learnt the basics, soon into the editing process Iwas able to work at a familiar pace. Also, the increased functionality becamenot just apparent, but useful too. Not only were we able to manipulate theframing of one shot to cut off the edges and bring the shot closer to the star, butalso in one shot able to cut out an actor entirely by overlaying half of the framewith a shot of the blank background an, and other time overlay two shots tocreate the illusion of all the characters being in the same frame (see picture).This year, I also used several new (to me at least) services such as the previouslymentioned Slideshare, Scribd and Prezi to access or upload documents onto thisblog. I also used image editing software Photoshop for the first time, as well asonline image editing service Picnik- although the former was more difficult to getaccustomed to, it offered much more photo manipulation than the latter (seeupcoming slide about our ancillary task). These services all enabled me to createa more multimedia blog.
  10. 10. Ancillary ProductsI did all of the ancillary tasks (Artwork, Digipak, Booklet and Poster) using amixture of Adobe Photoshop Elements software and online image-editing servicePicnik. As I could only access Photoshop on the school iMacs, I used that to takeuploaded photos from iPhoto and edit them slightly to turn them into usableimages. However, as stated earlier (on lighting slide), we did not want to over-edit them for fear of giving our artist a too ‘polished’ image.Whilst designing the digipak, I discovered a trade-off between a software’suser-friendliness and its possible professional capabilities, Particularly whencomparing Photoshop’s incredible functionality with Picnik’s simple interface.Despite this clear divide, it was the latter with which I chose to create thedigipak, lyric booklet and poster, as it was incredibly easy to learn and offeredall the editing functions I really required for the product. However, if we hadmore time to work with I would have enjoyed spending time getting to grips withthe complexities of Photoshop, maybe resulting in a more professional endproduct.However, other secondary work (such as creating and maintaining the blogs andthe band’s social networking [Facebook and twitter] accounts) was much easierand straightforward, as we had blogging experience from AS coursework, andas computer-literacy in social networking is for many teenagers a essentially arequired skill, posing no problem for us digital natives to use.
  11. 11. Publication and PromotionIn conclusion, the process of this coursework has taught also taught me about theimpact of digital technology in terms of publishing our work (not just the video,but this blog and other materials too) and possible digital methods of promotion(eg viral music videos on YouTube).Whereas thirty years ago, music videos were created as promotional tools forthe song to be played on music-based television shows, nowadays they can alsobe seen to stand as a separate product from the song, instead becoming a newand exciting way for fans to engage with their favourite artists.Not only has this become self evident for twenty-first century pop artists, butalso the fact that we, as eighteen year old college students, can create andpromote a music video product for almost no cost whatsoever, demonstratesalone the influence of digital technology in this industry.

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