Saturday, June 9, 2012

Post 1 - This term's tasks

Week 1
Task 1: Present a music video (homework task)

Week 2
Task 2: Learn the workshop dance routine and lyrics

Week 3:
Task 3: Practice Lip Synch - shoot and edit

Week 4
Task 3: The Workshop 

Week 5
Task 5: The Workshop Edit

Task 6: The Evaluation

Lessons in Wk 2 and 4 cannot be missed. All students must complete all tasks with a formal sign-off before the end of term.

Post 2 - Effective Music Videos

During exam leave, the media staff sat down and discussed what we think makes for a great music video. Three hours later (!) we narrowed it down to 10 things we think a great Music Video should have or do.

Here is our Top 10!
We think the most effective music videos have a mix of the following features :

1 - Instant impact
2 - Non-linear editing
3 - A sense of development
4 - Strong sense of artist identity
5 - An engaging performance
6 - Extremes, binary oppositions and repetitions
7 - Are visually striking
8 - Provoke a reaction
9 - Different layers of meaning
10 - References to popular culture

Post 3 - Task 1: homework

Choose a Music Video that could be considered ‘effective’, according to the Effective Music Videos Top 10 Features list on the blog.

Discuss the video and justify your choice in relation to the features on the list. Post your analysis and your video to your blog.

Prepare to present your work to the class.

Post 4 - Task 2: The Lipsynch

The Lip Synch (prelim task – completed in lessons)

Shoot and edit your own lip synch to Jessie J's 'Price Tag'.

For the edit, we only require one verse and one chorus.

Edit your footage in a music video style, upload it to youtube and post it to your blog, along with a short statement explaining which role(s) you would like to play in the video, and why we should cast you in this/these role(s).

You should shoot in a quiet space in media, in pairs or threes, do the choruses together and pick a verse each to lip synch to. Your edit would then be your own verse plus a chorus. Film each other all the way through the verse, then set up the camera to do the choruses. You will need a camera, tripod and the track itself.

Lip synching tips:
1. Learn the lyrics/song/rhythm really well
2. Think about the way each lyric line should be performed
3. You MUST actually sing the words for a convincing lip synch (turn the music up nice and load to drown out your singing!
4. Practice at home in front of the mirror so you become really familiar with what needs to be done
5. Think about the sound the singer is making - you should ensure your face/mouth are working in the way you would expect of a singer singing those words in that particular style
6. Add some moves if you want to!
7. For the edit, capture full takes and place each one on a new layer, then cut between them, picking out the best bits. This is called laying the PERFORMANCE BED.

Post 5: Meet the Director

Click on this link to find out a bit about our first visiting director Jake Wynne

Click on this link to find out a bit more about our 2nd visiting director Harrison Wall 

If you have any questions, make sure you speak out in the sessions.

Post 6 - Music Video - interpretation of music/ lyrics

This is about investigating the relationship between lyrics-image-music. 

Key theorists:
Andrew Goodwin 
Carol Vernallis

In a music video, the music and lyrics are the starting point - they are the driving force behind the images. Therefore how you interpret the music and lyrics is key to making a music video. 

1. Interpreting lyrics - lyrics and images interact to create meaning.  Meaning can be literal or symbolic.  How you interpret the lyrics will be key to your creative planning. The images should either illustrate, amplify or contradict the music and lyrics.  
2. Construction  - you will be creating moving images for a pre-composed track.  Conventionally, images are connected by the beat/rhythm and other musical features.  Camera movement often mimics the music track.  You need to know the composition and structure of your track really well before planning your visuals.
3.  Filming and editing - most music videos contain distinct visual elements so that the work forms a coherent whole. Visual elements are the small parts into which a moving image may be divided: e.g quick zooming in and out, quick cuts, colour/lighting, use of static and mobile framing, costumes/props, extremes such as wides to close-ups.  Visual elements can be repeated to work like visual motifs. These need to be planned out early on to ensure they are thought through carefully.
4. Genre: many videos are recognisable through the genre signifiers they contain - in the music itself but also through the choice of dance moves, gestures, costumes, hairstyles and jewellery. However, not all videos contain genre signifiers.  
5. Shooting performance - there are certain rules for this, including the repetition of close and mid shots of the main performer - these are known as the 'beauty' or 'money' shots and are always required by the record company. Performances always include extremes - wides to close-ups to wides etc - and lots of movement cut with static shots.     

Post 7 - Music video categories

Music Video categories
There are 3 different types of music video; although it is common to see elements of two or three categories combined.
1. Performance - the music video contains mostly filmed performance. The performance can be: song; dance; instrumental; concert clips.
2. Narrative - the music video contains a visual story that is easy to follow. The story is told through a series of narrative moments that work together to create the meaning but music video style of storytelling is different to that of film-making. A pure narrative video contains no lip-synchronised singing or dance performance.
3. Conceptual - the music video does not contain an obvious narrative or any lip-synchronised singing. There is strong use of symbolic visual imagery, which is why some music videos are called art or experimental clips. A pure conceptual music video is quite rare; more common are the high-concept narrative and performance hybrid forms.

Post 8 - Workshop objectives

  1. Team work
  2. The different responsibilities on a shoot
  3. A taste of industry/professional standards
  4. The practical experience of working with a director/1st AD to a tight schedule
  5. The formula of music video construction – beauty shots, shooting whole takes of the song, discontinuous editing, lighting, laying a performance bed
  6. The difference between shooting/editing for music video – compared to film
  7. Confidence in performance - lip sync, movement, attitude, costume
  8. Inspiration for shooting your own performance video
The project will be SMART

And above all it should be fun and an enjoyable/unforgettable experience for all involved.

Technical considerations
Technical considerations should not drive or limit the project outcome – we must accept our technical limitations and work within our means. Finding creative solutions and practising everything in advance is the key to a successful outcome.

The idea of a remake
We want to aim for an accurate remake, but it is OUR version of the video and as such we can adapt/compromise/re-think as necessary.


Post 10 - Cast List

Post 11 - The Workshop

For this task, you are required to participate in every aspect of the workshop, both the build-up work and on the day itself.

During the workshop build-up sessions, you will learn performance techniques and in particular the dance routine.

You will learn about the role of the director, and will be directed by a professional.

You will also have a chance to talk to/observe the technical crew in action, and you will get to ‘play’ with professional kit, including cameras, lights, track and dolly, crane etc.
In return, we expect you to work closely with us to organise your costume/styling in advance, to co-operate at all times, turn up on time, take the work seriously, be enthusiastic, get involved, and help out whenever needed.
The shoot is a 12 hour day - this is absolutely standard in the industry and essential for a one day music video shoot.

Post 12 - The Workshop Edit

Task: In small groups, produce an edit of the resulting footage from the workshop day. Post it to your blog, along with your brief answers to 4 questions, designed to evaluate your workshop learning.

Complete your editing in lessons and in any free time you may have - study periods, lunchtime or after school. We are open all week, and you are very welcome to edit whenever you like. Make sure you each do your equal share of the editing.

You have 4 days to edit - Monday to Thursday. Your blogs will be checked on Thursday morning, so make sure everything else is done by then. Your workshop edit can be added to your blog on Friday morning.

Post 13 - Prelim Task: The Evaluation

Complete this task for homework: deadline Thursday 19th July

Evaluate what you have learnt from completing the workshop, by posting answers to the 4 evaluation questions. Illustrate your answers with photos taken from the day.

Make sure you upload your finished edit to youtube and post the link to your evaluation post as well.

1. Did you enjoy the workshop day? What were your best bits and why?
2. What did you learn from participating in the workshop?
3. Are you pleased with the footage and your edit? Is it how you expected it to look?
4. How do you think your workshop experiences will impact on your approach to next term's music video coursework?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post 14: Year 12 final week!

Ok folks - this is it! Your last week as year 12 media students!

A few reminders:

1. To finish the course properly, please make sure you contribute an equal share to the workshop edit task (unless you have an agreement with me about this).

2. All your prelim work must be complete and you must be signed off IN PERSON by Mrs Blackborow on Thursday 19th July.

3. Any absence known in advance, please make sure you have completed the correct paperwork and ensure you remind us! Economics students - see me about the conference.

4. If there is any chance at all that you won't be in school on Thursday (authorised or otherwise), see Mrs Blackborow asap.

Until you have completed everything required of you (see below), you will be expected to attend all your media lessons, as normal. Please do not think that just because it is the end of term, absence will not be noticed or followed up. If you are planning to continue Media at A2, you must complete the AS course and be formally signed off on your prelim tasks/ blog.

Please ensure you do the following in order to complete the course:
1. Your blog should be fully up to date, and all the prelim tasks completed by Thursday 19th July.
2. Do not ask or expect anyone else to upload your video, or post your links. If you don't do this yourself, you cannot be signed off and will not have completed the course.

Please note:
The edit suite will be fully available Mon - Thurs. Harrison will supervise the edit.
All dept staff are on the Year 8 Harry Potter trip on Monday 16th July
Year 7 Arts days are on Weds 18th and Thurs 19th July but you will be based in the edit room and will be able to continue regardless.