What worked well, what I could improve and
what I learnt about my own music video
I chose to base my video on a piece of
music composed by Ludovico Einaudi
named ‘Le Onde’, which is just one of
his well known solo piano works. As a
pianist myself, I decided to use myself
as a solo artist and showed this by
becoming the main character in the
The music of composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has
been described as minimalist, classical, ambient and
contemporary, so for selling purposes Einaudi generally falls
into the classical music category and this is how I
approached the marketing for my product.
A strong relationship between the music
In a successful music video, a strong relationship
between the lyrics/music and the visuals has to
be fulfilled. Particular music genres often have
their own personal music video style and as the
music of Einaudi is generally categorised as
‘classical’, I thought that the beautiful scenery of
woods, a story of love and the simplicity of a
piano would tie together most effectively. I did this
because I felt the audience could relate to the
couple in love and the gentle flow of the music
would show the expected, rather than the
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media products?
Editing driven by tempo and mood
It is, in fact the music that drives the editing by its tempo and mood. For example, when I
analysed Myleene Klass’ ‘Toccata and Fugue’ video the music is mainly driven by its fast
tempo and precise rhythm. This is shown at 2: 12 in her video as the music’s texture
becomes less busy and rhythmic, her pace of the shot is slowed down and the pace of
editing becomes slower. At 2: 23, as the music suddenly launches back into its original
speed, the cut to Myleene’s hands is exactly in time to when this happens, emphasising the
importance in rhythm.
The music in my own video has a slow
tempo and a relaxed nature which
reflects on the pace of which the shots
are shown. There is only one place
where the pace of editing speeds up, at
2: 31 when the texture of the music
becomes busier and the beat is more
prominent. Synchronising the music
and visuals makes the video more
effective and exciting and shows good
use of editing and post production.
How the camera is used and how images are sequenced has a
significant impact on meaning
As my video has a romance theme and a slow, tuneful melody, the pace of editing and length of
shots will undoubtedly be slower than say for example, an action film. This is because of the relaxed
nature of the film and the audience knows what to expect, a film with a predictable ending which is
similar to my video when the couple are reunited
towards the end.
Every single camera shot and angle is there for a reason,
including camera movement too. A good example of
camera movement in my video is in the opening when I
used a dolly shot when the audience sees the artist playing
the piano for the very first time. I did this because it hides
the artist’s identity causing suspense as the audience wait
to see the artist fully revealed.
The medium close up of the couple show a
close link between them as they hold
hands, this is further achieved by panning
up to their faces to see them kissing and
This is a perfect example of the importance of continuity editing; how a sequence
of shots need to link together to make sense. Here, the girl is taking a walk and
sees her boyfriend sitting just over the stream only to find out it is her
imagination. Information like this needs to be shown clearly through the visuals in
order for the audience to understand fully.
1 2 3 4
By placing the couple in the shot together,
the companionship between the couple is
This point of view shot enables us to see the action in the eyes of the
girl, and shows the guy’s car driving away and he leaves. The long
shot emphasises the distance increasing between them.
This long shot enables all of the action to be
shown – the young couple running into each
others arms. No other shot would have been
able to show this clearly.
The slow pan upwards suggests the end of the music
which is confirmed by the music slowing down and
finishing. The couple are shown reunited and happy – it’s
a bit of a cliché ending really, as the couple walk off hand
It is messages like these that the audience will recognize
and help them to understand the narrative and creative
an emotional response towards the video.
A strong relationship between narrative and performance
It is important to consider the relationship between
narrative and performance as the information that
reaches the audience needs to be clear and fully
understood. I chose a romance theme for the video, as
I thought this suited the mood of the music and
enabled me to develop an imaginative but simple
narrative to follow. I also knew that the audience would
recognize the romance genre of film, and would know
what to expect.
There are two parts of my video that appear
visually – shots of the main character playing
the piano and a story of her first experience of
love. I decided to split the video up in this way
to clarify the link between the main character,
and the story being told. Also, I needed to sell
my image as an artist, and show off my
technical ability at the piano to the audience.
The opening twelve seconds of the video effectively set the
scene and introduces the main character. As the video
progresses, the use of the piano becomes prominent,
enabling the artist to develop their iconography and
become their own star, in and out of their videos.
The couple are shown looking really happy together. The
boy is then seen leaving his house with a suit case, saying
goodbye and driving off, giving the impression that he had
to leave. The language of signs and signifiers enables the
suitcase to tell the audience that he is going travelling, or
away. As the car drives away, the first section of the music
ends, hence the short pause.
The next section of the music becomes more rhythmically
driven and the girl is obviously distressed and missing her
love. This is expressed visually by her running away from
her troubles to a clearing in the woods, where she sees the
boys sitting on the other side of the stream, only to find out
it is all in her imagination. She is then pictured sitting alone
and flashback images are shown of the memories she has
of the two of them together. Shots of the girl by herself
follow, reinforcing her isolation to the audience.
The main theme of the music returns, which is instantly
recognisable. The girl is sitting alone when she sees the
boy walking towards her from across the field, they run into
each others arms and are reunited once again. During this
action the mood of the music has changed into an
optimistic, happier feeling via the introduction of ‘major’
chords. The young couple are then shown together in the
past, good memories in a sequence of shots. In the final
A clear narrative
shots, the young couple are shown together and walk hand
in hand into the distance.
Lots of close-ups of the main artist/vocalist
I noticed how classical pianists such as
Myleene Klass are placed in more medium
and long shots to show off their technique,
ability to play and the beauty of the
instrument. i.e. the artist’s image is less
However, pop music record companies tend
to demand lots of close ups of the
instrumentalist(s)/ vocalist(s). Take Fincher’s
video for Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ for example, no
image is more iconic than this frame and is a
stunning example of a close up.
In my own video, I unfortunately did not direct to shoot
many close ups of the artist but is an element of music
videos that I have learnt about, and can improve on the
next time round incorporating more of the pop music
element to my video. Audience more involved, more
appropriate when theme is romance. (shots by self)
How effective is the combination of your main product
and ancillary texts?
Realistically, every artist wants their record to be a huge hit and in
classical/film music world there are no exceptions. But instead of
searching for the artist’s name in a CD store, you would usually find the
CD listed via the composers name as this is usually the information the
audience is looking for.
However, if the artist is well established the audience may look for the
artist’s name too. If the artist is a world-class performer and recording
artist they may well be listed by their own sir name but, as the standard of
classical pianists today is extremely high, this would only be the case
among a small group of pianists over a period of time.
In my own music video, I am treating myself as one of the
many pianists trying to make it to the top, so the most
important piece of information I need to give to my audience is
the composer’s name, Einaudi.
The importance of combining texts
The importance of combining texts is one that is not to be over
looked as it is about making it easy for the audience to link
texts together. In both my main product and ancillary texts, the
audience follows the thematic link between the shots of the
artist playing the piano and appearing on the front of the CD
When considering the design of the poster, I put myself in the
audiences place. The simplest way of the audience receiving
the link between my CD and poster is to place the CD cover on
the poster so that the audience links the visual image to the
one they would search for in a CD store or online.
I also took to tweaking several small visual elements between
the video and ancillary texts to make the link clearer to the
audience. I did this by selecting natural, realistic colours to
place in the ancillary texts which suits the country side location
and nature shots of the video. I also thought the red colour of
the main headings and pink background of the CD cover ties in
with the ‘romance’ theme in the video. I also made sure to
submit the same font type in my video and CD cover.
I would put these advertisements in places such as music magazines associated with the
classical genre, music retail shops and also online on websites such as Myspace. The
importance of advertising is important to any artist in order for them to be able to sell
themselves – both their particular music style and their self image they want to present.
The element that differentiates the general styles of ‘classical’ and ‘popular’ music is who
is represented to the audience. Classical music is sold by the person who wrote the music
(i.e. the composer) and popular music is sold via the artist who plays the music. However,
there are still renowned classical musicians all over the world but in more cases then not
classical music tends to be advertised by the composers name.
As classical music is not so popular in the younger generation of today I tried to make the
advertising appeal to a younger audience. I did this by
including a bonus video track which is often seen on
popular CDs of its kind, made the CD available
to download online and programmes such as iTunes
and advertised on social networking sites such as
What have you learned from your
What worked well
• A clear narrative that was easy to follow
• Good quality filming
• A good flow to the video eased by the use of transitions
• Excellent editing particularly the video effects such as ‘dream’
• Wide variety of shots including the dolly shot
What could have worked better
• In most of the piano shots the timing of the music and the artists’ hands were not exactly together so
more detailed planning would be needed next time round.
• A few of the shots could have been framed better so that the action is more centred as there is only
so much editing can do.
Next time round…
• I will make sure to frame camera shots carefully when filming.
• Include more interesting shots such as the dolly shot, which I
used once at the beginning.
• More careful planning and storyboarding could over come the
problem of the music timing.
The range in age group that completed the questionnaire enjoyed the film, which confirms my research for the
intended audience appealing to a wide range of ages.
Using my research I came to the conclusion that the target audience is between teenagers aged around 15 to
the slightly older generation up to 30 year olds but it is important to keep the subject of my video in mind. As my
music video will involve the story of a couple in love resulting in a 'young love' theme the target audience age
may lower considerably to around ages 15 - 22. There is strong use of representation in my theme and how
young love is portrayed which will attract viewers of the resulting age.
An unusual audience
It is important to highlight that my product attracts a slightly unusual audience because of its style of music.
Music videos are usually associated with the general music term ‘pop’ and are rarely seen showing any other
music genres. This means that my audience may include a variety of ages due to their taste in music, and will
not necessarily be just a young audience. I labelled my music genre as ‘classical music’ as this is a general
term suitable for marketing. However, the music written by composer Einaudi has more of a popular feel so I
hope that it will appeal to the younger audience of today.
In addition, Einaudi’s music has warmed the hearts of many musicians by his pleasant harmonies and ease to
play, making it appeal to a broad range of abilities.
How did you use media technologies in the construction
and research, planning and evaluation stages?
For this project we were told that
every piece of coursework was to Firstly, I chose to present my work in an online blog using a website
submitted in electronic form which called Blogspot.com. The blog was a really easy way to post all my
resulted in using a wide range of planning, research and my ancillary texts. It was particularly helpful
media technologies in each stage in enabling me to upload pictures and videos and showing my time
of the project. management.
It has a label option where I can label
each blog separately to represent the
stages of my work.
The blog also has the ability to enlarge photo files when clicked on so my
storyboard sheets could be read clearly when I scanned them in using the
import button in Serif Photo Plus 11.
I also adjusted the brightness, contrast, saturation and
exposure levels via the ‘video adjustments’ that the camera did
not quite capture, either from lack of natural light or the quality
of the equipment I used. A good example of using this tool is in
the opening shot where I adjusted the saturation and colour of
the shot to exaggerate the autumn colours of the trees.
Once I was satisfied with the way all the shots appeared, I
added transitions. Transitions are crucial in linking the sequence
of shots together so it is easy for the audience to follow.
Transitions are available by clicking on the transitions icon and
choosing from a selection of non-animated and animated clips. I
used three different transitions - cross dissolve, cross blur and
fade to white – which gives enough variety and does not swamp
the video in lots of different transitions. I edited the time in which
the transition was to take place by double clicking on it and
changing the figures in the duration bar.
Another effect was adding a still image into the video, adding
variety to the video. I took this still image of the couple looking at
one another from my own footage and by using the crop and
rotation tool once more and clicking on the ‘ken burns’ button.
Filming and recording audio
Filming took two to three weeks and was a process I enjoyed
thoroughly. As I was in a number of shots, I made sure to set
the tripod and camera up for any still shots and firmly directed
how I wanted it to be filmed to a friend, in any moving shots.
The next process was to record the
piece of piano music I had chosen.
Unlike many other students, I decided
to use myself as an artist and selected
a piano solo piece for my music video.
I used a ‘Real Time’ CD recorder
called the Coomber 6120 and a
microphone to achieve the best results
using the school equipment. I then
converted the audio file to MP3 format
and imported it to the iTunes library on
the Mac computer ready for editing the
After I had finished filming I needed to upload my recording tape to
an Apple Mac computer to transfer all the data. This was achieved
by connecting the camera and the computer via a ‘fire wire’ and
choosing to ‘import file’.
Using iMovie I created a clearly named folder to save my video in and was
ready to start editing. The very first task I had to do was to drag and drop my
recorded audio file from iTunes into iMovie, which was fairly simple. I then
started to select which shots I wanted to use and, referring to my storyboard
placed them in some sort of vague order, by dragging and dropping them.
Editing the volume levels ensured that all of the shots were
muted as any unwanted feedback or filming noise would
spoil the effect of the music. Being able to listen to the
music track whilst viewing the video at the same time was
invaluable as it is important to match the visuals to the
Before adding video effects, transitions and
other elements to the video I had to make
several adjustments which proved very helpful
as not all of the shooting turned out exactly how
I also adjusted the brightness, contrast, saturation and exposure
levels via the ‘video adjustments’ that the camera did not quite
capture, either from lack of natural light or the quality of the
equipment I used. A good example of using this tool is in the
opening shot where I adjusted the saturation and colour of the shot
to exaggerate the autumn colours of the trees.
The first useful tool was the crop tool which I enabled by
clicking on the shot and selecting the crop and rotation tool
from the ‘clip adjustments’ menu. The tool let me select a
part of the frame I wanted to use if I had not framed the shot
correctly and is in my opinion one of the best tools for an
inexperienced film maker such as myself.
One of the last tools I used from the video effects
enabled me to change the visual effect of the video in
selected shots. I chose two different effects ‘dream’
which I used for the shots of the main character’s Beach bypass
flashbacks and memories and ‘beach bypass’, to
differentiate between the present and past.
For the credits appearing at the beginning of the video, I clicked on the ‘T’ button and selected
the ‘lower’ option, enabling the text to be placed in a low position in the frame. Editing the text
and font type was simple and I made sure to use a variety of text sizes to differentiate the
importance of the pieces of information. I also edited the duration of each piece of text and
used the fade in/out manual button, as it is important for the text to appear long enough for the
audience to read and to be interpreted clearly.