Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 28 June 2010


DRAFT 2: I've altered the timetable discussed in Monday's lesson, on the basis that the classroom scenes could be shot during the 9.10-9.45 slot, these having no lipsynching requirement, which frees up some time for the other sections.
Before detailing that, lets just explore...

The concept is derived from a school which consistently wins the BBC award for music video, and is intended as a major stepping stone on your way to your A2 production portfolio. The idea is straightforward: a day off normal timetable to work on (re)creating a whole music video.
The day should highlight the critical importance for planning, but also get you thinking about issues around locations, costume and directing (including choreography) to take just three. We will closely review the lessons learnt following IFEST, though I will ask that you blog on your experiences, and what lessons/tips you've gained from this by Tuesday 6th!
It would be impossible to replicate this production through normal lessons, and requires you to work within a small team and as part of a larger production.
Remember the importance of using video throughout your blog to illustrate and bring to life the process followed in eventually creating your own fully fledged music video - most aspects of the day provide good opportunities for this! If you do intend filming any diary/behind-the-scenes-style footage, please pass any footage you're happy with on to the 12C documentary team via John.
As much as there are a great many opportunities to learn invaluable lessons from the day, it is also intended as FUN!!!

Yes, I did slip a homework in there! For Tuesday the 6th, please blog (including some video footage ideally) on what lessons or insights you've picked up from the day.

In addition to the above learning outcomes (and hopefully enjoyment!) there will of course be an end product: a fully edited IGS Media version of Britney's classic hit. On top of this I'd also like to see one or more re-edited text-led versions, suitable for use on the school screens, which provide some context and detail, tackling, for example, certain sequences and exploring the Media Language used (and why Britney's original director went for this; what it is trying to signify), or even the challenges faced in recreating these. It would be great if someone could use the final vid to produce a guide to some common codes and conventions of music videos!
12C will also be producing a documentary (possibly two...) on the day.
These are examples of opportunities I've tried to create for you all with your UCAS applications in mind - everyone will have the opportunity to take responsibility for editing at least one production in June/July, which provides a means of demonstrating how you embody all the attributes of 'ICREST'!!!

We will be filming around the school on what will be a normal day for everyone else, so it is important that you try not to disturb anyone! Please also remember you must bring trainers for the gym scenes (even if you're shooting documentary footage!). Guys, a white shirt (to use as a blouse) would be useful, but fear not about the skirts - I've borrowed some from those nice folks in PE!

We'll meet back in F6 at various points during the day. You will split up to shoot some scenes, and practice lipsynching, in the morning, though for most of the day we will all come together and be extras in each other's sections.
Lipsynching practice will take place in one of F6, S2, D4, C5 - these have all been booked for the entire day.
Corrdior scenes will be shot on the top floor of the new building, outside the Arts + Humanities classrooms M8-13. These can only be shot during lunchtime, which adds complications to our timetable - please be timely for the start of this and all other shoots!
Gym scenes will be shot in the gym(!), not the sportshall; trainers must be worn by everyone for this.
Carpark scenes will be shot directly outside the front entrance, on the grass verge rather than the roadway itself.
Classroom scenes will be shot in S2, D4 or C5 - that team has to decide on the best location.

We have arranged 4 teams, each responsible for shooting all shots within 1 of the 4 locations, + 12C will be shooting documentary footage (see below).
The basic idea is that we meet immediately after registration to review the day's schedule, check we've everything we need and that everyone knows what roles they're fulfilling throughout the day, until break time;  you practice lipsynching with your team in one of the four classrooms assigned to us for the day; you then, in your team, shoot any material which doesn't require more than 1, 2 or 3 on screen (depending on size of team), before we come together to shoot the GYM, CARPARK and CORRIDOR scenes.
When we start shooting these, you will all be extras at some point, depending on what was agreed during Tuesday's lesson.
The CLASSROOM team will shoot their material in the morning (9.10 or before), and will practice lipsynching after break.

12C's ROLE: 12C will be shooting a fly-on-the-wall documentary throughout the day; please engage with any requests they may give you for brief interviews, even if it is to suggest a better time to shoot it! 12C will also, however, be performing too, and you should factor in one shot as Britney for Megan, George, Alex, Callam and Amy, and include these five in your calculations for extras when completing the call sheet. [We are currently discussing whether or not to go with an on-screen presenter, which may rule one person out as an extra, but not as a Britney!]

2ND DRAFT SCHEDULE [altered after Monday's lesson]

8.45 Meet in F6; check call sheets + troubleshoot any issues; sign for any equipment
9.10-9.45 GYM/CORRIDOR/CARPARK teams: Practice lipsynching (each group assigned different classroom) - consider recording some of this!
CLASSROOM Team: shoot classroom section; will need 2-3 extras + teacher figure for 2 shots - start as soon as day's schedule has been reviewed and agreed from 8.45
10-10.40 GYM/CORRIDOR/CARPARK teams: Shoot any CUs/2-3shots your group can achieve without any extras
CLASSROOM Team: complete classroom section if necessary; otherwise practice lipsynching in 1 of the 3 assigned rooms
10.40 Meet in F6; sign for/check in any equipment; start uploading footage - pass photocopy of annotated shotlist to JC/me; change as required
10.50-11.30 Shoot gym scenes
11.30-12.10 Lunch [time can be made depending on which shots you're assigned to]
It is vital that if you have been asked to perform in the corridor scenes that you go promptly
12.10-12.50 Shoot corrdior scenes
12.50-1 Meet in F6; sign for/check in any equipment; start uploading footage - pass photocopy of annotated shotlist to JC/me; change as required
1.05-1.45 Shoot carpark scenes
1.45-2 Break/time to change [try to discuss any additional shots needed]
2-2.10 Meet in F6; sign for/check in any equipment; start uploading footage - pass photocopy of annotated shotlist to JC/me; change as required
2.10-2.40 Meet in F6 - opportunity to arrange any additional shots; review footage, pass on copies of annotated shot lists + return equipment as required.

2.40-home Meet in F6, ensure copies of all shot lists have been handed in with tapes, and all equipment signed back in.

The answer depends somewhat on which team you are in, though everybody should bring trainers.
We have ONE blond wig, but feel free to bring your own - that would certainly make the morning shoot, when we split up, a lot less complicated! (Otherwise, we'll have to try and share a wig around 3 different locations, the classroom scenes having already been shot)
Each team can fill you in on Tuesday on the precise details, eg If you are in the classroom scenes, you will need black shoes, a white blouse, skirt (we have some skirts from PE for the guys!), a pink scrunchie, folder and pen, + grey cardie for Britney (more than one size as more than 1 Britney!!!), but as a quick guide:
Even if it is just a different top/bottoms, it would be good if you came with clothing to be included in all sections: the classroom + corridor scenes have the school uniforms (chaps with black blazers!); the gym some basketball players but mainly casual sportswear, and the carpark general casualwear.
Lipstick and other makeup might be useful! (Including makeup remover!!!)
As you're planning and shooting each section (and when you're practicing lipsynching!), you will want access to the actual video for guidance. I would ask that you arrange within your group to have the mp4 on one iPod or phone. It really helps your performers, especially the Britneys, if they can hear the tune, so aim to include an audio source. (You might find it good fun to re-edit a few shots with the audio you capture on the day! If you're game, it'd be great to have some of this for the documentary - please pass on to JC any such footage you're happy for us to use in this way)

Just like any media production, this is a complex event which requires good planning on your part. It would have been useful to have denotated the original video in sequence, although it looks like there will not be time now for this. I have provided an example of how to break down the video into individual shots, plus sheets (there are plenty spare in F6 - help yourself to as many as you need) for noting the shots within your section. So, then, try to follow these steps before Music Video Day to help ensure we all get the most from it:
  1. DENOTATE (WITH TIMINGS) THE SHOTS IN YOUR LOCATIONS: - You should find that there is some repetition within these! You need to take careful note of the timing in the video (so that it can then be inserted into the edited production), plus any camera movement, shot + framing, mise-en-scene (including clothing + props), and any lyrics sang at this point, as set out on the guide sheets
  2. NOTE WHICH SEPARATE SHOTS YOU NEED TO TAKE IN A TEAM SHOTLIST: - You should find that as there is much cross-cutting, and shots are shown in a non-linear fashion, including some repetition, that you do not actually need to shoot the precise number of shots you've noted in STEP ONE; some continuous shots may be broken down into several segments through cross-cutting
  3. LOOK AGAIN AT YOUR TEAM SHOTLIST! - Think carefully; you have a minimum of 40 minutes (possibly another 40mins later in the day for reshoots, additional shots) ... can you realistically shoot ALL the shots you've listed? Are there elements you'll have to compromise on? Examples may be crane shots, props such as cars, dance moves etc
  4. ALLOCATE AT LEAST ONE SHOT AS BRITNEY TO EACH TEAM MEMBER, + 1 OR 2 FROM 12C: - Everyone shall have their chance to shine and express their inner diva! It will make for one very strange looking music video ... but then that might just make for an interesting concept video (applying Goodwin's theory of the 3 types of MV) in itself...
  5. EACH TEAM MEMBER TO BE GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR SHOOTING + DIRECTING AT LEAST ONE SHOT: - There are three distinct roles then you should each fulfil within your location team: Britney(!), cinematographer (person who takes the shot, and is responsible for its framing and any movement), + director, who should work with the cinematographer, but also explicitly direct the performers - provide some guidance and feedback. Let them know precisely what you are after ... just don't be a demagogue and blast one of your amateur dancers!
  6. CREATE A CALL SHEET FROM YOUR REVISED TEAM SHOTLIST: - This is a variation on a shotlist which would be used by 2nd Asst. Directors, or PAs (Production Assts.), to organise the shoot. This would be reviewed at the start of a day's shoot and checked against as the day wore on (you would also typically have a continuity director, but this video is going to be a very postmodern, slightly surreal production, so I wouldn't worry too much about continuity!). A call sheet will include the shot details (in order you intend to shoot), timing (include video timing for reference), mise-en-scene etc PLUS a specific note on WHO will feature in each shot. You can break down who precisely your extras will be on Tuesday. ALSO note any potential problems you can foresee. If you were shooting all day, and using a professional crew, you would include target times to wrap each shot (see ehow site)
  7. MISE-EN-SCENE: LIST ALL PROPS/COSTUME/MAKE-UP REQUIRED: Again, time will be very, very tight on the day, so try to think through what you will need in terms not just of personnel/cast (see STEP 6) but also costume, props, make-up and all other aspects of mise-en-scene. We don't currently have any lighting equipment, but you could consider whether you could innovate here. Don't neglect to consider make-up, especially to help make your gentlemen Britneys look remotely feminine! [But also don't forget to include supplies of makeup remover!!!]
  8. ASSIGN A PRODUCER: - You need someone to take an overview of the shoot and strive to keep the shoot to the timetable noted on the call sheet. Strictly speaking, this is often a '2nd Asst. Director', though a producer would be well aware that time is money and would be keen to keep things moving! This role includes keeping notes as you go - there should be an opportunity in the afternoon to attempt some reshoots or shots you ran out of time for (sorry corridor folk, but you're on the tightest schedule of all there and won't really have that 2nd chance!) [read more about film crews here + here]
  9. CHOREOGRAPHY? Just how ambitious do you want to be? The more faithful you aim to be with the dancing, the slower it will be to set up shots, and the more problems you may face with extras! Think very carefully about how many extras you want to include; even if the video has 20 in a scene, is it practical for you to aim for the same? Will you have time to work on this during the lipsynch slot (see schedule, below?)
  10. TIME NOW, PLEASE... One last time, review your plans: can you achieve all this in the time available? Is there a Plan B if you quickly come to realise that you've been too ambitious? Note carefully on your call sheet which shots you think may cause most difficulty and be prepared to cut these if time does go against you on the day.
This is a rough example of a call sheet:
Sample Call Sheet                                                            

Music Video Day is on Wednesday June 30th!!!

Not just the two words that made Sir Trevor McDonald a legend (see him here expounding on the brain train - which you may want to track down after Wednesday!)...
You've been set a very demanding task here, with limited preparation time. In some ways, this is quite realistic - as you'll find when researching the music video, budgets for these are getting ever tighter, which means timetables for producing these are also being slashed. Its worth reflecting on how you might have managed, what steps you'd have taken, if you found yourself commissioned to shoot a music video in one day, even a recreation such as this!
In the anticipation of a busy but successful day, thank you for all your effort on this!

8.45 Meet in F6; check call sheets + troubleshoot any issues
9.10-9.45 Practice lipsynching (each group assigned different classroom)

10-10.40 Shoot CUs/2-3shots your group can achieve without any extras
10.40 Meet in F6
10.50-11.30 Shoot classroom scenes
11.30-12.10 Lunch [time can be made depending on which shots you're assigned to]
12.10-12.50 Shoot corrdior scenes
12.50-1 Meet in F6/time to change
1.05-1.45 Shoot outside scenes
1.45-2 Break/time to change
2-2.40 Gym Scenes
2.40 Meet in F6, ensure all shots logged and labelled

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